Expert Tree Maintenance Solutions

Tree care services help to keep trees and shrubs healthy. This reduces the likelihood that they will develop problems that require costly remediation. Contact Hummingbird Tree Care LLC for professional help.

Tree Maintenance

Watering trees (newly planted and in greenstreets) and mulching help maintain healthy root systems. Invasive plants such as vines must be removed to allow for proper growth.

Tree and shrub diseases, insects and mites, and environmental stress can have a wide variety of symptoms that may be difficult to recognize. Often times, these problems develop slowly and can go unnoticed for years until the damage is severe.

In most cases, the first step in identifying a problem is to understand what caused it. This requires a thorough inspection by a trained arborist. It is important that this professional be ISA Certified, has local references and proof of insurance including personal and commercial liability and worker’s compensation.

It is a common misconception that trees and shrubs get sick overnight. In reality, a variety of symptoms indicate that a problem is brewing. For example, slowed growth, gradual and progressive twig and branch dieback, undersized leaves or needles, and premature fall coloration are all signs of potential plant disease. Additionally, if a tree is leaning it can be an indication that internal or underground structural damage has occurred and may result in the eventual collapse of the tree.

Similarly, a fungal fruiting structure such as mushrooms or “conks” growing on the bark of a tree or on its roots or trunk is a sign that fungi are breaking down the wood of the tree and causing structural weakness. A trained arborist can identify the type of fungus that is present and recommend an appropriate course of treatment.

It is also a good idea to have your property regularly inspected by an ISA Certified Arborist, especially after major weather events. This will allow for early detection of problem areas and provide a greater chance that the problem can be addressed before it becomes a serious issue.

Monitoring Tree Health

The most important thing you can do to protect your trees is to watch them carefully and regularly. Whether they’re in your yard or along your street, taking the time to check them for signs of insect pests, fungi, disease or just general decline will help you catch problems early and minimize their impact.

A good starting point is to examine a tree for a single leader (trunk), a full canopy, and strong bark. A healthy tree is green and thriving, with no dead branches or twigs. A twig should bend easily and break without leaving a mark when snapped, and it’s a good idea to keep track of the amount of growth you see each year.

Examine the trunk and roots for signs of damage or disease. If a root is exposed, it could mean that the tree has been damaged or is struggling to access nutrients. A sappy-like fluid oozing from the base of a trunk or stem is a bad sign, usually caused by bacterial infections or microscopic fungi like Phytophthora.

You can also monitor the soil and root environment for signs of stress caused by compaction, damage or chemical exposure, which often take some time to become evident. A test like Arborcheck can detect these early, so remedial works can be implemented before the situation worsens.

In addition to observing symptoms and signs, it’s also a good idea to note where the problem is occurring. For example, a tree with the Meripilus giganteus fungus will often begin to die at the top before moving down. If you’re aware of this, it will help you determine where on the tree to look for more targeted inspections, or give a professional arborist insight into what is happening.

If you notice that a tree is in decline, it’s important to contact an approved Arboriculturalist as soon as possible to get advice and treatment. Having a certified arborist assess the site and provide an appropriate plan of care will ensure that any risk to people or property is minimized.

Managing Pests & Diseases

Many of the most damaging pests and diseases in trees can be prevented or treated before they take hold. A proactive approach to managing these threats is key, and Riverbend Landscapes & Tree Service offers several preventative services designed to help you get the most out of your landscape investment.

Preventing insect and disease problems starts with proper planting – selecting the right site and using appropriate planting techniques. This is especially important for young trees that are the most vulnerable to invasive insects and pathogens. Choosing a diverse selection of tree species helps to minimize the impact of a single disease or pest if it is introduced, while enhancing your property’s natural beauty and value.

Regular monitoring – particularly in winter – is essential to detect problems before they become severe. Frequent observation enables you to spot abnormalities such as pitch tubes (seen on pine trees) or discolored bark. It also enables you to take action to keep these problems from spreading, such as pruning or spray treatments.

Insects can destroy entire trees and shrubs in short order if allowed to do so, but often the damage is not apparent until it’s too late. Riverbend Landscapes & Tree Service uses organic or low-impact pesticides, when necessary, to control insect populations and limit the damage they cause.

Pests that attack the roots, stems or leaves of plants are most dangerous and difficult to control. Those that feed in the phloem of trees, such as linden aphid (Eucallipterus tiliae) or tuliptree scale (Toumeyella liriodendri), can defoliate entire landscapes in just a few weeks. These pests excrete a sticky, black substance called honeydew that can stain patios and cars.

Fungicides can be used to control some diseases if they are caught in time, but it’s much better to prevent them in the first place. Watering correctly – avoiding overhead watering and deep shade that limits air-flow – is critical to reducing inoculum levels. Pruning can also reduce inoculum by removing heavily infested branches and encouraging sunlight penetration to the lower canopy.

For diseases that develop on needles, such as a pine beetle outbreak or a fungus like needle casts or blights, it is especially important to monitor and take action early. Fungicides can be applied when new shoots are 0.5-2″ long and needles are just emerging to provide maximum protection.


Pruning is the selective removal of live branches and limbs from a tree to manage its size, shape and health. It can be done to promote air circulation and light penetration, reduce a threat to people or property or to correct structural defects.

In addition to removing damaged and dead limbs, pruning trees can help maintain their health by controlling pest populations, promoting proper water drainage and preventing interference with electrical or utility lines. A properly pruned tree is also less likely to suffer damage during a storm or snow event.

It is generally best to prune most trees in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. This allows the wounds to close quickly and prevents sunburn or insect damage. However, some species (such as birch, maple and dogwood) and some shrubs (such as azalea, lilac and forsythia) bloom on wood that is produced in the previous growing season and therefore must be pruned soon after they finish their display.

The most common reason to prune is to remove dead or diseased limbs. Weak or narrow-angled limbs that hang over homes, parking areas or sidewalks should also be pruned to eliminate safety hazards. Overgrown limbs that interfere with utility wires should be reported to your city maintenance crew and may require the assistance of an arborist to safely remove.

A good rule of thumb is to never remove more than 25 percent of the crown of a tree. Removing more than this can compromise the structure of the tree, open it to fungus and insect infestation, and reduce its ability to photosynthesis.

For this reason, it is a good idea to hire a certified arborist for any extensive pruning work or for diagnosing problems on existing trees. Unlike landscapers, arborists are trained to use specialized equipment like chainsaws, and they follow strict safety guidelines. Arborists are also more knowledgeable about what a particular species needs to thrive and can determine whether or not it is worth saving.

Finally, a professional tree service can save you money in the long run by reducing the likelihood of costly repairs. A well-trained, insured arborist can provide you with a detailed report of the condition of your trees and recommend the best course of action to ensure their continued health and beauty.

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