The Best Time to Cut Dead Tree Branches

cutting dead branches Knowing when to remove the dead branches and limbs from your tree can be difficult. In general, dead limbs should be removed when they are noticed – but finding dead branches can be tricky. The best time to check for dead branches is after the fall leaves are gone, mulched, or buried under snow, and new spring blossoms are not yet ready to bud, December and January offer the best time to cut off the dead and make way for new life.

Removing Dead Branches

Cutting off the dead branches and limbs of your trees in the middle to end of winter is the best way to promote healthy growth (as this is when trees are dormant and you are less likely to damage them). In addition, without the leaves, it offers you the best chance to get a thorough look at every branch to give it a good, clean cut.

If a dead branch or limb is close to or touching live electrical wires, it is important to contact your electric company to have them shut off power to your property prior to removing these branches. Even if you notice the dead branch in the middle of summer, it is better to remove the dead branch than have it cause a fire or other emergency. Your best bet is to call Mr. Tree right away, as we are trained and experienced in safe tree and branch removal.

Why Pruning is Necessary

There are many homeowners that don’t understand the importance of removing dead or decaying branches. The thought may be that if it isn’t close to property or electric lines, then it is not worth the hassle. However, even if the tree or branches are not close to dangerous areas, pruning your trees is a responsible act for every homeowner. Here are a couple of reasons why:

  1. Prevents Branches from Falling. When branches die, they don’t just become bare. These branches begin to rot and decay. The longer they are left, the weight of these branches can cause them to snap or break where the rot or decay is most extensive. This can be dangerous for anyone walking near the tree, animals, or property.
  2. Promotes Healthy Growth. When a dead branch is left on a tree, nutrients, and resources are still being pushed or redirected away from healthy branches. This can lead to the tree being susceptible to disease or pests. When dead foliage is cut away from a tree, the nutrients can go to the healthy branches and leaves, making the tree stronger and more resilient.

What Causes Dead Tree Branches

Many times, dead tree branches happen because of natural causes – but in some cases, dead tree branches can signal disease, such as this disease affecting Pennsylvania Oak Trees. It is important to talk with a local arborist or tree specialist, like our team at Mr. Tree, to understand whether or not there is a bigger issue at hand.

Healthy Trees in Pennsylvania

Mr. Tree is passionate about educating homeowners about the value of pruning trees and tree removal for the purpose of promoting healthy growth among tree populations and safer homes. If you aren’t sure whether or not your tree is dying, diseased, or going through a dormant cycle, you can take a look at some of our resources online or contact us today. We would love to speak with you!

Is a Leaning Tree Dangerous?

leaning tree There has been a lot of rough weather this fall. With high winds and powerful rain, it can wreak havoc on your landscaping, and even on some of your toughest, oldest trees. The question that many homeowners have is whether or not certain damage, or even the way a tree is standing, poses a dangerous risk for people and property nearby.

When to Remove a Tree

In general, a leaning tree is not a cause for concern. There are instances, however, that may require tree removal.

Sudden Leaning

Many trees can grow at an angle, and for strong trees, this is not a problem. Deep roots, like the ones you see on big Oak trees, prevent these trees from tipping over, even in adverse weather. However, trees that were once standing tall and now seem to be leaning may have damage to the root or trunk, or disease, causing them to weaken and tip. In this case, calling a professional tree removal company can help you determine whether or not the tree should be removed.

Visible Roots

If a tree is leaning and you notice that the roots are now visible, it may be cause for immediate action. Trees that have begun to pull up their roots are much more likely to fall quickly, as their weight can shift suddenly. Leaving these is dangerous, so make sure to get them checked right away.

Known Damage

If a tree is leaning and has been struck by lightning or affected by a natural disaster, such as a tornado or a hurricane, it may need to be removed. Damage to a leaning tree can shift its gravity, and there may be more extensive damage to the trunk or roots than can be seen by the naked eye.

Hollow Trunk or Bald Bark Spots

If a tree has hollow spots in the trunk or has begun to shed its bark, that is a sign of significant damage or disease. Only a tree professional can determine whether or not it poses a risk to you and your property, but trees with this kind of damage should be removed even if they are not leaning.

Proximity to People or Property

The location of the tree and the direction in which the tree is leaning should be considered. Even if the tree is a strong species, such as an Oak or Elm, if the tree is leaning toward your home, powerlines, vehicles, playground equipment, or other areas where it poses a direct risk to people – the tree should be removed. A fallen tree on electrical wires can cause a fire, and trees can bust through siding and windows with little effort. To keep your loved ones safe and your home protected, please remove these.

Consult a Trusted Tree Removal Expert in Pennsylvania

There may be many instances when a leaning tree poses more danger than you think. It is best to do your due diligence and consult with a trusted tree removal expert right away if you have questions about this. Mr.Tree would be happy to talk with you about the right time to remove trees and when it is okay to leave them. Contact us today.

There’s Something Off with the Pennsylvania Oak Trees

oak tree If you are a homeowner who has an oak tree, or several, on your property, you may have noticed that something hasn’t been quite right. During the summer, we usually expect all of our foliage to turn green and lush, providing us with much-needed shade and shelter during the heat of the season. Sadly, many oak trees in Pennsylvania (and along the eastern seaboard) have been affected by something known as, “Bacterial Leaf Scorch.”

What is Bacterial Leaf Scorch

Bacterial Leaf Scorch, sometimes called Marginal Leaf Burn, refers to a condition when the outer edges of the leaves are not getting sufficient moisture for one reason or another. Some of these reasons may include:

  • Insufficient moisture in the soil
  • Water is lost too quickly from the leaves
  • Roots have been killed by plant pathogens, excavation, or compaction
  • Fungi or bacteria invade and plug the water-conducting vessels (xylem) in the plant

One primary culprit in Pennsylvania is a bacteria known as Xylella fastidiosa. Xylella can inhibit water from reaching the leaves of oak trees. This will turn the leaves of an oak tree brown, even in the spring and summer. The only real way to know if your trees are affected by this bacteria, or have Bacterial Leaf Scorch, is by contacting a professional, as they can perform accurate testing to confirm bacterial presence.

How it Spreads

Because BLS is caused by bacteria or fungi, the disease can be transported to other trees near the diseased plant by beetles, grasshoppers, and spittlebugs.

Protecting Your Oak Trees

Unfortunately, once your oak tree is suffering from Bacterial Leaf Scorch, there is no way to cure it. Even though it takes years for the bacteria to fully kill an adult oak tree, it can be unsettling and devastating to watch your trees die. Some treatments that help the trees keep their green leaves include an antibiotic called ‘Tetracycline’, but this treatment only postpones the inevitable and can be costly.

Hypoxylon Cankers Threatening Oak Trees in PA

hypoxylon cankers In addition to Bacterial Leaf Scorch, Hypoxylon cankers have been causing the deaths of oak trees around Pennsylvania. These cankers, in the form of lesions or spores, infect the bark of the tree and literally rot the tree from the inside. These spores can range in color from light blue to black and can affect weak trees as well as healthy ones.

Over time, the structural integrity of the tree is compromised. Although it can take up to 8 years for these lesions to kill an oak tree, just like with BLS, it is not something any homeowner wants to experience.

Keep Your Trees Alive and Healthy

To keep these diseases and spores at bay, it is vital to keep your trees pruned and healthy by using a trusted and professional tree service that can identify issues early to provide treatment. At Mr. Tree, we love providing resources that keep our tree populations alive and thriving. If you need our services or suspect that one of your oak trees may be infected with Bacterial Leaf Scorch, or is showing signs of lesions, please contact us right away.


What’s Killing Pennsylvania’s Ash Trees

emerald ash bore There is a lot to be concerned about when it comes to our natural world. With shifting climates, we are seeing more natural species and vegetation being lost. There is another natural disaster happening, though, to our trees. In Pennsylvania, we are so fortunate to be home to big, beautiful trees of many different species that tower over the land. What if one day those trees were gone?

Where Have All the Ash Trees Gone

There is something called the Emerald Ash Bore, a small, metallic green beetle, that has killed off most of the Ash Trees in Pennsylvania. The Emerald Ash Bore, while their name doesn’t reflect their viciousness, were first discovered in North America in 2002. Since then, it has killed 60 million Ash Trees nationwide. In Pennsylvania, we have a healthy population of Ash Trees – numbering over 300 million – but this number is drastically decreasing by the day. Since 2014, the Ash Tree population has been reduced by 14%.

How to Save Your Ash Trees

Not only should we be concerned about our forests in PA and around the country, but homeowners need to take extra steps to protect their ash trees.

Identify the Affected Trees

growing ash tree If you have ash trees on your property, you can tell if they have been affected by the Emerald Ash Bore by the discoloration of the tree bark. This bark will flake off in considerable amounts to show reveal a much lighter color underneath. If you look closely, you can see the bore holes themselves!


Generally, you will want to remove the dead trees before they fall and create damage to your property. Once the ash tree is infected, it should be removed to eliminate the threat of the tree falling and causing damage to your property or hurting someone.

There are chemical treatments available for affected ash trees, but once a tree has evidence of this beetle, the treatment doesn’t work very often. Only healthy, unaffected ash trees should be considered for treatment like insecticides – as beetles can decimate tree populations within 5 years once they start. Most treatments need to be applied every year and can become very costly.

Don’t Wait to Remove

Ash trees can grow to be very large (some as tall as 80 feet). It is crucial to be alert when it comes to the health of your trees. Once affected by the Emerald Ash Bore, the integrity of the tree is compromised and it can take very little to tip these trees over or break them in half. If you have trees on your property that are sick or dead, please contact the team at Mr. Tree right away so we can safely remove them. If you catch it quickly, it may help prevent other trees on your property and in the area from becoming affected.

5 Best Trees for Shade

Willow Tree over lake

Willow Tree

The weather is quickly reaching warm temperatures, and if you’re looking to plant trees this spring, consider planting ones that will provide some shade! This will not only provide a nice spot for the neighborhood furry friends to relax under but can be used as a great picnic spot.

Best Trees for Shade

  1. Oak trees are a great shade provider.
    Oak Tree

    Oak Tree

    Congress even declared the oak to be American’s national tree in 2004. According to Better Homes and Gardens, the oak tree has more than 60 species that originate in the United States, so you can choose the best oak for your region.
  2. The American hornbeam is a low-maintenance shade tree that can grow almost anywhere. This tree is a bit shorter and has ridged bark with a round shape.
  3. The American sweetgum has star-shaped multi-colored leaves and has become a prized specimen in parks, campuses, and large yards across the country. If you have the space for an American sweetgum it will not only provide a good amount of shade but beautiful colors to your yard as well.
  4. A weeping willow tree is known to provide optimum shade and is native to China. This huge tree is known for its open center, ground-sweeping branches, and long leaves. This tree is a symbol of spring for some and is easy to grow. The weeping willow can grow between 30-40 feet and the same width, and can live between 20-50 years. The weeping willow does best around the edge of ponds, lakes, and rivers.
  5. The northern catalpa
    Northern Catalpa tree

    Northern Catalpa

    is a beautiful white tree with showy flowers with heart-shaped leaves. It is popular for most, including kids. It is not great in every location, but it does grow fast and can be found in parks and yards throughout the country.

Hire a Professional

If you’re interested in planting a tree this spring, Mr. Tree is happy to offer recommendations best for you. As we enter the warmer months, this is a great time to get your existing trees pruned & trimmed. Contact Mr. Tree for more information.

How To Properly and Effectively Water Your Trees

Tree getting watered Now that the weather is starting to warm up, it’s important to prioritize watering your trees. Most think that the trees get enough water when it rains, but manually watering your trees will make a huge difference in the health and survival of trees when they’re young or when the weather is dry.

It can be difficult to know when is a good time to water your trees is. According to Arbor Day Foundation blog, during a hot summer afternoon, up to half of the water on your tree can be lost to evaporation. So the best time to water your trees is in the morning or evening, this allows for the roots to have a chance to absorb most of the water. But what are the best ways to water your trees?

The 4 Best Ways to Water Your Trees

  1. You can use a hose to water your tree. You can turn the hose to a slow dribble and put it on the ground near the trunk. After about half an hour, move it a couple of feet around the trunk. You repeat this process for up to 2 hours if the tree is large.
  2. A great option is a soaker hose. A porous soaker hose will allow water to slowly ooze out of its entire length. Lay the hose on the soil around the tree and turn the water on just enough so you start to see beads of water on the surface of the hose. You can let this run for about an hour.
  3. If you can’t reach the tree with a hose, try a bucket. Fill a large bucket with water and carry it over to the tree. Pour the water onto the soil around the tree. Keep making trips until the soil is fully watered. For a young tree, you will need at least 10 gallons and more for a mature tree.
  4. You can try using an overhead sprinkler. Overhead sprinklers work best in cool areas that don’t receive a lot of sunlight. They are a good way to cover large areas, but they don’t provide a lot of moisture.

Contact a Professional Tree Company

If you’re interested in tree pruning as the warm weather rolls in, contact us! We can also help provide additional tips to keep your tree in the best shape.

Why You Should Consider Planting Trees This Spring

Spring is known to be the season for gardening, planting trees, and spending lots of time outside. Not only is it nice to spend time gardening in the spring but it is also a healthy time for your plants and trees to be added.

Benefits of Planting Trees In Spring

  1. Tree behind fenceNurseries have the biggest selection during the spring months. You are able to choose from multiple different trees, picking the best for you and your yard this spring! You may be limited by selection at other times of the year.
  2. Planting a tree in the spring gives the tree a fair chance to grow all summer long to be better equipped for the winter. We are only seeing what is going on above the surface, but it’s important to remember that when a tree is freshly planted it needs to make roots under the surface. When you plant in the spring it gives the tree enough time to make new leaves and roots, which provides the tree with the sugars it needs to grow.
  3. Alongside the sugars required for tree growth, trees also need water. A new tree has a smaller, more limited root system which can be a problem when it comes to getting enough water. The spring showers will help with this issue and allow the tree to grow properly!

Contact a Professional Tree Company

If you’re thinking about planting a new tree this spring, feel free to contact us here at Mr. Tree for some tips and tricks. The spring is also a great time for tree pruning, after a good trimming your tree is ready to take on the nice warm months to come.

How Animals May Damage Your Trees in Winter

After Mr. Tree finished removing a 140 foot tall tulip poplar treeIt’s incredible to watch our wildlife survive the frigid winters, but it can be devastating to see how trees and animals affect each other in the winter. Deer, squirrels, rabbits, moles, and chipmunks are just a few of the creatures that are active year-round and live in the cold. 

We remember to protect smaller plants like annuals and perennials in our gardens from any critters, but we often overlook our trees. Smaller trees are very vulnerable to several types of animal damage in fall and winter, so it’s wise to take steps to protect them.

The Damage Left on Trees Due to Animals

  • Deer often damage the upper half of tree trunks during rutting season. Rutting season takes place during the fall and early winter. Rutting is when a male deer rubs their antlers against trees in hopes to wear off their velvet. Thin barked trees are more susceptible to damage from deer than other trees. If the tree experiences enough bark loss around the entire trunk, it is more susceptible to girdling. Most trees can recover from this damage but will eventually lose limbs in the affected areas.
  • Rabbits and other smaller rodents damage the lower two feet of the tree. Moles will chew on tree bark under the surface of the soil so the damage often goes unnoticed until the tree slowly begins to die. Rabbit damage is a bit easier to spot. They chew on the bark a few inches above the soil. Animals will burrow in the snow and chew away at your tree without you ever seeing them.

How To Protect Your Trees in The Winter

  1. cross section of a giant structurally compromised treeStart by spraying your tree with animal repellent. It’s important to know that deer might stand on their hind legs to reach the branches, so spray as high as you can reach.
  2. Be sure to wrap your trees. You can use white paper, fabric, or plastic tree wrap. You can place the barrier directly on the tree trunk in a spiral coming from the ground to the first branch. This barrier can help prevent damage that comes from deer and from smaller animals gnawing at the bark.
  3. If you’re still experiencing some animal damage, you can try making a physical barrier. Use a  double layer of chicken wire while misaligning the holes. If you live in a snowy state, be sure your barrier is 18-24 inches higher than the anticipated height of the snow cover.

Contact a Professional Tree Company

If you’re worried about you the health of your tree this winter, consider contacting a professional. Mr. Tree can give you some additional tips to protect your tree and can prune your tree for extra support. Contact Mr. Tree for an estimate today!

5 Winter Tree Care Tips

Remember to care for your trees this winter. As temperatures begin to fall along with snow, keep an eye on the health of your trees. Oftentimes the cold weather can leave your trees feeling stressed, which can result in costly issues, including falling branches and trees. Practice the following tips this winter to ensure the health of your trees.

How To Care For Your Tree During the Winter

While removing a dead tree
  1. The winter is an ideal time to prune your tree. Trees go into dormancy during the winter, making it a good time to prune. Pruning trees while they are young establishes a good structure and can prevent damages in the future.
  2. Trees are sensitive to cold weather, so now is the time to protect your trees from the cold. Young trees and certain tropical species cannot tolerate freezing temperatures below 32 degrees. Cover susceptible trees and plants with burlap, sheets, tarps, etc.
  3. Retain moisture and warmth during the cold months. This will help the tree from freezing over: moist soil will absorb more heat than dry soil, keeping the tree warm. Cover the soil with a 3-5 inch layer of mulch starting a few inches from the base of the trunk extending about two feet from the tree in all directions.
  4. Prepare for any salt that might land on the tree. Salt is often used in the winter months to help keep ice and snow from sticking to the ground. But, it can cause a number of problems for trees and their roots. If you happen to notice salt on any of your trees or shrubs, continue soaking the area with clean water for a few days until you no longer see any salt.
  5. Continue to water your trees when there is no rain. Water new trees every week or every other week using 10-15 gallons of water. You can water old trees once a month using 10-15 gallons of water.

Contact A Professional Tree Company

If you’re worried about the health of your trees this winter, consider getting them professionally pruned before the first snowfall! Pruning will ensure the health of your tree and will keep you and your family safe from any falling dead branches. Contact Mr. Tree for an estimate today!

How To Properly Care For Tree Roots

Tree rootsTrees are made up of plenty of important parts including, a trunk, branches, leaves, and roots. All of these parts of a tree work together to keep a tree alive, similar to a human body. Trees also need nutrients to stay alive, just like the human body. However, trees make their own nutrients using sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water. If a tree is given all the nutrients and a good environment, it will flourish and grow.

The Importance of Tree Roots

Roots are the foundation of a tree, they hold it in place. Without healthy roots, we wouldn’t have a healthy tree. Roots are shallow: they are only about 6-12 inches below the surface, but they extend much further. Trees roots absorb vital nutrients and water from the soil that trees need. Without roots, trees would blow over in the wind and storms.

5 Tips To Keep Your Trees’ Roots Healthy

Chadds Ford Tree Removal-During

Roots can lift sidewalks, invade flower beds, and damage foundations if they’re not cared for properly. Because of this, people often opt to cut their tree roots where it seems best, but this can hurt the tree. Be sure to follow these tips to ensure that your tree’s roots are healthy and safe:

1. During dry, hot months trees need to be watered deeply. You can check if the soil around the roots is wet by using a screwdriver, hand towel, or soil probe. If the soil is wet and stick give it a few days before you water your roots. When you go to water your roots, apply water slowly to soak the soil 12-18 inches below the surface.

2. Roots also need oxygen. Allow the soil to dry for several days between watering sessions. Avoid placing new soil or compacting the ground underneath the tree. New soil can suffocate the roots.

3. Try and keep other flowers away from the base of the tree. When planting them you can disturb the roots.

4. Spread mulchunderneath the tree to protect the roots and provide it with extra moisture and nutrients.

5. Talk with a professionalif you’re having trouble with tree roots. Professionals can give you more tips on your personal case and determine the health of your tree’s roots.

Contact A Professional Tree Service

If you’re worried about the health of any tree roots that are on your property, contact Mr. Tree today. We can help safely remove tree roots, stumps, and entire trees.