Carpenter Costin recognizes and supports community improvement efforts in the areas we service. We are proud to help The Highlands Coalition of Lynn Community Garden Project!
The coalition brings together a diverse community and educates children on nutrition, culminating in better choices and healthier living, and discourages criminal activities in the spaces they use through beautification and community utilization of those spaces.
On May 6 one of Carpenter Costin's tree crews dontated wood chips to the Garden Project. The chips are used to suppress weeds and provide clean pathways between individual garden plots.
We're proud to support and contribute to this organization that helps makes our community and healthier, safer, and more beautiful place!
Trees add so much beauty to our properties and benefits to the environment. They also require attention and care to keep them healthy and in a safe condition. If you know what to look for, your trees may have some telltale signs that indicate a potential hazard.
How to find out if your tree is a Hazardous Tree:
- Are there large holes in the trunk
- Have branches fallen from tree
- Are branches close to a structure or interfering with wires
- Are there splits or cracks in trunk or branches
- Are there dead or broken, hanging branches in tree
- Are there mushrooms at the base of tree
- Has construction or digging been performed near base of tree
If you notice any of these potentially dangerous conditions, please have your trees inspected and evaluated by a professional arborist. They are best qualified to advise you on how to keep your trees in tip top shape and keep them from becoming a hazardous tree.
For more information or to arrange a complimentary arborist inspection of your trees, give us a call at (877) 308-8733. Please note that we offer a 10% discount on tree work during the winter months.
After a long, cold, snowy winter, it’s time to get outside, take a deep breath and start planning how you are going to use your yard this year. As we all seek outlets for stress reduction and restoration, let our landscape architects help you transform your property into an attractive, welcoming and serene place to play and relax.
Here are some ideas for Spring Landscaping:
- Bring the warmth and fun of a campfire to your backyard with a stone fire pit.
- Define the entrance to your home with a new walkway.
- Add a beautiful flowering tree for an interesting focal point.
- Introduce seasonal color to your property by adding flowers that bloom all season
- Add outdoor living space with a new patio.
- Remove or transplant overgrown shrubs that may be hiding your home.
- Install a fence or stone wall to delineate a property line.
Carpenter Costin’s landscape architects will work with you to explore the possibilities of your property and turn your dreams into reality. Call now for a no obligation consultation on spring landscaping, 877/308-8733. Visit our website at www.carpentercostin.net to view our landscape portfolio.
By: James R. Allen IIII
Many trees in our managed landscapes are valued for their unique growing habit, such as an open spreading canopy, or a narrow upright branching in small spaces. Although aesthetically pleasing, these growth habits can have inherent problems that require support systems to keep them, safe and structurally sound.
One of the most common methods used to sure up these problems is tree cabling. This involves the installation of a steel cable in the upper two-thirds of a tree’s canopy to help support an out-stretched limb, or a leader hanging precariously over a house. The cable transfers the load from itself to an adjacent limb, therefore not taking on the full weight, and reducing the risk of breaking away.
There are basically three main reasons to add tree cabling to your landscape trees. The first is to prevent splitting of a healthy tree or limb. The second is to restore a damaged tree due to previous breakage, and the third is to mitigate possible hazards in a public area.
The first step in tree cabling is to identify the hazard potential of the tree and its risk to nearby people or structures. This is identified by tree characteristics such as included bark, or defective unions, large multi-stemmed trees, such as Silver Maple and River Birch, or top heavy limbs on a specimen tree. Next it should be identified if the tree is a candidate for cabling. Is the tree too far gone? Is there enough solid wood to attach a cable? These are questions that a certified arborist can assist in answering.
Although this is a common practice used in the landscape, there are risks involved.
For one, tree cabling will cause a small wound in the tree where the lag bolt is installed, but in most cases the tree will heal around. Secondly there is not guarantee against limb, or tree failure with cabling, this is simply a best management practice reduce the risk of failure. Also, be prepared to have the cables inspected yearly to ensure that they are intact or possibly replaced as the tree ages and increases in size.
These are considered acceptable risks when valuable specimen trees are involved, and tree cabling is a better alternative to complete tree removal.
Recent high winds have caused many trees to fall or to be severely damaged in our area. Carpenter Costin crews have been called on to remove trees from houses, driveways, yards and to evaluate trees with structural damage such as cracked branches and leaders.
A Certified Arborist is the best person to inspect your trees for hazardous or dangerous branches, or damage caused by wind, freezing and thawing temperatures, structural weakness or snow load. Certified Arborists can educate and guide you, not just in emergency winter situations, but in the care and maintenance of all of your trees and shrubs throughout all four seasons.
Massachusetts Certified Arborists and those certified by the International Society of Arboriculture are individuals who have achieved a level of knowledge in the art and science of tree care, through formal education, at least three years of experience and have passed a comprehensive examination. They are also required to continue their education in order to maintain their certification, ensuring their knowledge is updated on the latest arboriculture techniques.
Certified Arborists, years ago called tree surgeons, are trained to :
- Recognize safety issues and make recommendations regarding structural problems in trees, such as weak branch unions, dangerous leaders, and other potentially hazardous concerns.
- Evaluate the overall health of your trees and shrubs
- Diagnose insect or disease problems and advise on treatment strategies
- Avoid taking down trees that can be salvaged
Consulting with a Certified Arborist will give you the assurance that your trees are safe and healthy.
For a complimentary evaluation of your trees and shrubs by a Certified Arborist, please give us a call at (877)308-8733.
Carpenter Costin's 10% Winter Discount on Tree Work continues through
March 30, 2013.
Understanding what is delivered in your plant health care and pest control programs will help set expectations and goals for your landscape.
Everyone wants the perfect landscape, with healthy and beautiful trees and shrubs; however, not everyone is willing to invest in a comprehensive plant health care program. Even those who do invest in plant health care may not understand the comprehensiveness of their programs. Knowing what to expect from a landscape care program will help you achieve your goals, and limit landscape-associated headaches.
A plant health care or pest management program is comprised of a series of visits that include inspection and treatment of the trees and shrubs on your property. At Carpenter Costin, our Pest Management Program consists of five visits, and our Plant Health Care Program consists of eight visits.
Not all plant health care programs are equal. Programs depend on the knowledge and equipment that a company has, and determines if they’re capable of providing various technical services. Most providers offer programs based on timely visits, and usually start at three-visit programs and go up to comprehensive eight-visit programs. One-time target treatments are also available for specific prevention, such as Hemlock Woolly Adelgid or Ticks.
Determining which program is best for you should be based on your property and your budget; however, for optimal results, it is recommended that you opt for a minimum of five visits. A five visit program ensures control and prevention of insects, and also provides control on plant diseases. Opting for anything less than five visits jeopardizes the ability to control the pests, and is not the best investment for your landscape.
Many collegiate horticultural programs recommend property visits and treatments every two weeks throughout the growing season; however, at an average cost of about $80, the price tag for such a program would be substantial. A five visit program offers the best bang for your buck, while an eight visit program provides the most comprehensive control and prevention. If it fits your budget, more visits are better; however, five and eight visit programs are very economical without sacrificing quality.
Although plant health care experts are great at predicting when certain pests will become active based on factors of phenology, they cannot forecast this more than a few weeks to a month in advance - and so much is based on micro-climates (meaning pests active in Swampscott may not be active in Andover). Relying on a three visit program to handle your plant health care needs may jeopardize the ability to tailor due to current conditions and micro-climates.
For best results, we recommend that you choose a five visit or eight visit program. There is exceptional value in choosing a five or eight visit plan, and it ensures that your trees and shrubs maintain great health. A three visit program may be less expensive, but we urge you to be cautious when choosing a plan under five visits, as sacrifices must be made. For more plant health information, request a free consultation with one of our experts.
Ritzi staying busy with our plant health care and pest management programs.
Keep your shrubs safe from winter elements with these simple winter shrub care tips.
If you ensure your shrubs make it through the winter damage-free, you’ll be preventing many landscape-associated headaches come spring time. The main threats for shrub damage in the winter include wind damage, snow-weight damage, and salt damage.
The cold winter wind is capable of excessively drying out the shrubs that maintain their foliage in the winter. The drying process occurs through transpiration of the water within the shrub’s foliage, and is also known as desiccation. To protect your shrubs from drying out, you can apply anti-desiccant liquid to all your broadleaf evergreen shrubs.
Wrapping your shrubs in burlap, or creating a burlap screen, will also help protect your shrubs from damaging winds.
Depending on which New England winter shows up (100” season like 2010 or hardly a dusting like 2011); your shrubs could potentially be damaged by heavy snowfall, and the placement of snow by shovelers, snow blowers, and plows. The weight of heavy snow alone can be enough to damage shrubs. Compounding that weight by clearing snow from your walkways, driveways, decks, and patios onto your shrubs can cause serious harm. If possible, try to limit the amount of snow weight on your shrubs, especially the younger, less established ones.
The salt that is used to melt snow and ice is another threat to your shrubs in the winter. Salt acts as an herbicide and can seriously damage or kill the shrubs in its path. There is very little you can do for your shrubs that line the streets that are salted by the town or state; however, on your own driveways and walkways, try to limit the amount of salt used near your shrubs, as it will have a negative impact on their health. If you are experiencing salt damage year after year, you should consider planting a salt-tolerable variety of shrub. Burlapping may help protect from salt damage slightly; however, it is very possible that salt will penetrate the burlap.
If you can limit the damage that the wind, snow, and salt cause to your shrubs in the winter, you’ll be much happier with your landscape come spring. It is also a wise idea to have an Arborist inspect the shrubs and trees on your property before winter hits to ensure everything is in a safe, healthy condition.
(Image by Clementina - Wikimedia Commons)
Protect evergreen shrubs from harsh winter cold and winds with anti-desiccant applications.
Desiccation is the dehydration of a plant due to water loss in the leaves through transpiration that occurs during the winter, as brutally cold winds rip through our region. Protecting evergreen shrubs, which maintain their foliage through winter, from desiccation will ensure they do not dry out and die during our cold winter months. Applying an anti-desiccant (or anti-transpirant) will help make sure your evergreens stay healthy through the winter.
Anti-desiccant is a foliar, topical application that forms a waxy coating around the leaves of evergreens. This coating protects the leaves from losing water through transpiration caused by winter winds and cold temperatures. By maintaining the moisture in the leaves, broadleaf evergreens will be able to survive the winter, even when frozen ground limits the availability of water.
Although winter can cause damage to all trees and shrubs that maintain their foliage throughout the winter, broadleaf evergreens are most susceptible to damage, and are most likely to experience harming long-term health effects from winter damage. Broadleaf evergreens that are prone to winter damage in New England include, but are not limited to, rhododendron, boxwood, and holly.
Anti-desiccant applications must be completed in the late fall and early winter when temperatures are between 50 degrees and 32 degrees. Applying anti-desiccant when temperatures are below freezing can actually do more harm than good for a shrub. It is important to pick a period of time that will be rain and frost-free for at least 24 hours, as both rain and frost can impact the application’s effectiveness. When applying anti-desiccant, be sure to apply it to both the topside and underside of the leaves.
Most garden centers or plant nurseries will sell anti-desiccant, and it may also be available at your local hardware store. If you want to leave the anti-desiccant applications to the professionals, click below for a free consultation. Preserving broadleaf evergreens through the winter will ensure they look great come spring!
One of the most common questions homeowners ask an Arborist during a tree care conversation is, “How come the trees in our vast forests keep growing, and they are never cared for? Why are my trees different?” This is an excellent question, and it is important to understand the differences between a tree in a forest, and an “urban tree,” in order to really drive home how vital tree care is.
At first glance, forest trees and urban trees look very much alike; however, the differences between them are, in fact, enormous. Trees in the forest have an abundance of food and water, with layers of decaying organic matter spread across the moist forest floor providing important nutrients for all plant life. Also, in the forest, a tree’s root system has ample room to spread out in search of food, and very few barriers to root growth.
Urban trees don’t have the wealth of food and water that forest trees do, as they rely solely on rain and the homeowners for water. Unlike in the forest, where trees have abundant food sources, organic matter, such as leaves and grass clippings, are cleared from a property, effectively stripping urban trees of valuable nutrients. In the forest, a tree’s root system can spread widely in search of food; however, the roots of urban trees are often restricted by driveways, sidewalks, utility pipes, streets, and building foundations. Urban trees are also competing with your lawn and shrubs for water and food.
Consider a forest tree’s advantages in the food and water game and you would think that an urban tree is at a significant disadvantage; however, urban trees are fortunate enough to have homeowners that can care for them. Forest trees are never inspected for insects and diseases, and are never pruned or fertilized. Urban trees can be given the proper care through routine watering, fertilization, and pruning to improve their health, safety, and appeal. Forest trees are left to fend for themselves and are often plagued by various insects and diseases.
Caring for your urban trees is vital to ensure they remain healthy, safe, and attractive. A regular inspection by a Certified Arborist is recommended to make certain that the trees on your property are in a safe, healthy condition throughout the year. Take advantage of a free consultation, and make sure your urban trees are in great shape.
An Arborist injecting fertilizer into the root system of an "urban tree."
Included bark is not a household term, but understanding how it identifies potential weaknesses in trees will help keep your property free of tree damage.
Unless you’ve spent some time in a forestry or arboriculture educational program, you’ve likely never even heard of included bark – and that is alright. Knowing what included bark is, or knowing how to define it is not important; however, identifying included bark on your trees can help prevent broken limbs and damage from falling branches.
Included bark forms in the junctions of co-dominant stems where there is a narrow angle union – meaning the junction looks like a “V” rather than a “U.” As the tree grows (picture the age rings of a tree) the narrow union will essentially fill with bark and create a growing area of structural weakness in the tree. Even in young trees, when you notice a very narrow angle (creating a “V” at the junction of branches) it is likely that stress put on the either of the co-dominant stems can cause splitting, or even cause the stem to break off at the junction.
There are two main identifiers to search for when looking for included bark. First, you can look for the sharp “V” shapes in the junction of branches. The more the tree grows, the deeper the “V” gets, and ultimately the weaker the junction gets. The second identifier can be spotted when looking at the “side profile” of a tree. Included bark will create a bulging effect, as it is essentially sandwiched between two stems as the tree grows.
As a tree ages and grows, included bark becomes more of a danger to your trees and property. In New England, storms can deliver high winds and heavy snow that puts significant stress on tree branch unions, ultimately causing them to split and break at the junction. Preventing and mitigating risk on trees with narrow joints (and included bark) can be accomplished through:
- Crown Reduction Pruning – reduces the stress on the joint and limits the leverage of the wind and snow during storms
- Cabling and Bracing – properly installing cables or through bolts canprevent wind and snow damage and secure the limbs in place
- Removal of the tree – this should be a last resort, but may be necessary in some cases
If you identify a tree that may possibly have included bark we advise you to contact a Certified Arborist to inspect the tree for safety.
Included bark can cause concern for any type of tree, but in our area it is very common in varieties such as the Bradford Pear Tree seen here. The narrow joint here gave way to the high winds of Hurricane Sandy. Evidence of included bark was noticed, and it is likely that cabling the tree would have saved it.