Is Stump Grinder Mulch Ok to Use?

As you may or may not know, we at Austin Tree Service do stump grinding services. You can add stump grinding on to your tree removal service or after your tree is removed even if we didn’t do the removal. Stump grinding uses a stump grinder to remove a tree stump from your property. We will grind the stump into small chips. You can use the stump grindings as mulch. We leave them on your property for you unless you request us to remove them.

The only time you should not want to keep stump grinder mulch is when you have a diseased or deceased tree. Otherwise, the stump grinder mulch is rich in nutrients and can benefit other trees in your yard. We do, regardless of condition of the tree when ground, charge you a fee for removal of the grinding chips. Why? Well, it costs us to dispose of these and it takes a fair amount of labor. We apologize if this is inconvenient to you, but it’s standard to charge for these services.

Now, when you want to have a stump ground with us, we need the measurements of the stump at its widest point and a picture that you can send us via text or email. We need to determine the location and accessibility of the stump. Sometimes, we can’t get to the stump. We will tell you what we can and cannot do.  If we can’t get to the stump, we can’t grind it.

If we can grind your stump, we do offer the cheapest services on the market. Austin Tree Service does try and guarantee your satisfaction at every step of the process whether we are removing your tree or not.

Now, should you decide to keep the stump grinder mulch, you can use it almost immediately. Mulch is valuable for your soil for many reasons. It insulates the soil, helping to provide a buffer from heat and cold. Mulch also retains water to keep the roots moist. It keeps weeds from impacting your trees so there’s less root competition. Mulch can also prevent compaction and reduces lawn mower damage.

So, you can clearly see that stump grinder mulch is not just ok to use that it could actually save the life of other trees in your yard. We consider it a favor to you that we leave the stump grinder mulch behind. We understand that you may not see its worth immediately, but, if you have any questions, please feel free to call our offices at 512-341-8888.

Famous Trees of Texas – Cattle Raisers Oak

Picture this – it’s a cold, clear day in the middle of February, during the year 1877. A sober and determined group of nearly 40 Texas ranchers came out of the Graham Hotel and went down a rutted street to assemble around a large post oak. They wanted their privacy. It was important. Unfortunately, it was unattainable in the small hotel room. That’s why they moved their convention outside. What was the purpose of this special meeting? They wanted to organize for war against a common enemy – the cattle rustlers. This way, which was declared more than a century ago, still rages on today.

Four ranchers who met on that fateful mid-February day had discussed the problem many times before. Their names were C.L. “Kit” Carter, Jim Loving, C.C. Slaughter and John N. Simpson. They had heard that ranchers in other cattle-raising states had organized. They realized that they needed to do this in Texas if they were to survive.

These four men convened the meeting and explained their plan. Immediately, a motion was carried to allow the temporary chairman, Kit Carter, to appoint a committee to work up a statement of objectives and purposes for the group. A committee of sixteen men, representing all parts of the territory, was appointed. They went with Carter back into the Graham Hotel to set to work.

The next morning, the ranchers returned to the old post oak, which we know now as the Cattle Raisers Oak. Secretary Jim Loving read the committee’s report. Two of its resolutions were:

  1. That the members of the Association shall work together for the good and common interest of the stock raiser of Northwestern Texas and do all in their power for the promotion of the stock interest.
  2. That the territory represented at this convention shall be divided into districts and that men be allotted to each district whose duty it shall be to gather all cattle in their district and to notify the owners of the same and hold them until owners call for them.

C.L. “Kit” Carter was then named as the Association’s first president. J.D. Smith was named the vice president. Jim C. Loving was deemed the secretary. He was also the only paid officer with a salary of $50 per year. S.J. Conner was the assistant secretary.

From the time of that first meeting under the post oak tree, the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association developed into one of the most powerful and progressive associations in the state. They would not let any obstacle, either natural or man-made, stand in their way. They are to be commended for the work they’ve done. A state historical monument is located in the 400 block of Fourth Street in Graham. It marks where the Cattle Raisers Oak once stood. Unfortunately, the tree itself was destroyed in a windstorm nearly 100 years after the first meeting of the Association.

For more information on historical trees of Texas, stay tuned to our blog. If you need help with your trees, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 512-341-8888. We are always happy to hear from you.

9 Reasons Trees Die in Central Texas

When trees die, it’s a sad thing. We love our Central Texas trees here at Austin Tree Service. We know you do too. In this article, we’re going to focus on 9 reasons trees die in Central Texas. We think that with a little bit of knowledge, you can prevent some trees from dying so soon.

  1. A tree dies because it’s not adapted to the Central Texas heat. A native or adapted tree will know how to survive the Texas heat. We have long, hot summers, occasional cold winters and alkaline soil in this region. If, for some reason, you have a tree that was grown in another part of the country and you transplant it here, it may not thrive or even survive. Non-adapted trees have very short life spans, problems with insects and leaf drop. It’s best to use native or adapted trees for your landscape.
  2. Trees die because the trunk was damaged during transportation/planting. When transporting and planting a tree, you must be careful that you don’t damage its bark. A tree’s vascular system, which is similar to our own arteries and veins, lies just beneath the bark. Young trees have thin bark, which can easily be damaged. If the damage is severe, it can cause a tree to die. Why? The tree will lose its ability to transport water and nutrients from the roots to the stems and leaves. You can avoid bark damage by transporting a tree in a manner that keeps the trunk bark from rubbing or hitting any surfaces in the vehicle and by carrying the tree by the container, not by the trunk.
  3. Trees can die because the wire used to stake or label it was never removed. When you get a tree, make sure to remove all tags from it. You should keep the tags for your records, especially any with the planting date. You should never stake a tree unless it’s absolutely necessary. Most trees don’t require staking. The only time a tree may need to be staked is if it’s located in a really windy area. If you must stake a tree, cover the staking wire that comes into contact with the trunk or limbs with pieces of garden hose or a material similar to that. This way the wire won’t cut into the tree. You should remove the staking materials within 6 months to a year of installing them; otherwise, the tree’s water supply and nutrients can be cut off as it grows and the wire begins to girdle it.
  4. Trees die when they are planted too deeply. You want to plant a tree so the root ball sits firmly on the bottom of the hole with the top of the root ball even with the surrounding soil or slightly higher than it. You should never plant a tree too deep. It can suffocate the tree. When planting a tree, dig the hole to the same depth as the root ball. Then, you want to dig the width of the hole to at least twice the width of the root place. After you place the tree in the hole, you’ll fill the void with the original soil that has rocks and debris removed from it. You should water thoroughly to settle the tree and the soil. Finally, it’s a good idea to cover the exposed earth with up to 8 inches of bark mulch that goes up to but does not touch the trunk. Of course, if you want to avoid any issues with tree planting, we, at Austin Tree, can plant a tree for you. We can take care of all the work and you just need to maintain and enjoy your tree.
  5. Trees can die if they’re not healthy when you purchase them. When buying a tree, make sure you select a healthy one. Look over the tree thoroughly for any splits in the bark, broken branches, insects and healthy white roots. If you can inspect the roots thoroughly before buying the tree, do so and make sure there are no encircling roots. If you do happen to buy a tree with encircling roots, you can spread them before planting or even cut through them. New roots will usually grow where you cut the circling roots. If you do nothing about circling roots, these can eventually strangle the poor tree causing it to lose water and nutrients.
  6. Trees hit with a string trimmer or lawnmower can die. When a tree gets hit by these tools, it usually loses part of its vascular system. If the tree gets hit too often, it will die. To avoid this problem, try to keep a thick layer of bark mulch around the tree. It will cut down on evaporation of water from the root zone, moderate the soil temp, help control weeds and keeps the trimmer and mower away from the trunk.
  7. Trees die when their roots dry over before they’re planted. Prior to planting your trees, you need to make sure that you keep them watered. Many trees have become dried over while waiting for the proper planting time. Place the tree in the landscape where you want to plant it to help it acclimate to the light and wind. During the heat of summer, most container trees need to be watered daily. To avoid this problem altogether, you can wait and buy a tree when you’re absolutely ready to plant it.
  8. Trees can die when the leaves get dehydrated while driving down a highway. If you are transporting a tree, don’t do it in the back of a truck, sticking out a car window or a car trunk without giving the tree some cover. You can use a bed sheet or something similar. It doesn’t have to be fancy. If you don’t cover the tree, the wind will dehydrate the leaves and the small limbs. As a result, the tree will drop those leaves later and you’ll have all sorts of problems with it.
  9. Trees die when you over or under water them within the first 18 months of having them. Lack of water kills more trees than anything else in Central Texas. You must remember that it takes about 18 months for the tree’s root system to become firmly established. When that happens, it will help the tree thrive and survive Central Texas’ hot summers. During its ‘infancy’, you should check the soil weekly to guide your watering schedule. Stick to it to keep your tree healthy.

Of course, there are other reasons that trees die in Central Texas. These are among the most common. If you have any question on a tree’s health at any time, please contact us. Our certified arborist will be happy to come and take a look. We want your trees to thrive just like you do. Our phone number is 512-341-8888.


Austin Tree Service Earns Esteemed 2017 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Austin, Texas January 26, 2018 – Austin Tree Service is proud to announce that it has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award (SSA). This award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List in 2017.

“The service providers that receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award demonstrate the level of excellence that members have come to expect,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “These pros are top-notch and absolutely deserve recognition for the trustworthy and exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year and overall.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2017 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade and review period grade. The SSA winners must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check, record a current trade license attestation and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

“It was because of our customers’ suggestions that we came to Angie’s List in the first place. We are so thrilled to be honored by Angie’s List again with the Super Service Award. It is truly a privilege to receive this award each year and to know that our customers think so highly of us. We work hard to earn our customers’ respect. We are so grateful for it.”

Austin Tree Service has been listed on Angie’s List since 2014. This is the fourth year that they have received this honor.

Service company ratings are updated continually on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in multiple fields ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

For over two decades Angie’s List has been a trusted name for connecting consumers to top-rated service professionals. Angie’s List provides unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.


 About Austin Tree Service

Austin Tree Service is a full service tree care company. We provide tree planting, trimming, and removal services. We have a certified arborist on staff and are experts in the trees of Central Texas. We are located in the Austin area. We strive for excellence in our customer service and satisfaction.


Tahira Sahibzada




Tree Trimming Tips & Techniques

We want you to know that you can always call us for tree trimming help. It’s one of our specialties. However, as part of our service to you, we would like to share some of the basics of tree trimming with you.

Why should you engage in tree trimming?

You should generally trim trees for one of several reasons. The first reason is aesthetic. Trimming a tree can help maintain a tree’s shape and appearance. Under no circumstances should you try to impose an unnatural shape or size on a tree. It’s not good for tree health.  The second reason is safety. Dead or broken branches and limbs can fall off a tree at any time. This is a serious safety hazard. If the branches of a tree obstruct your vision while you are driving, they need to be trimmed away immediately. Sometimes, tree limbs grow too close to utility lines. Those limbs should be expertly pruned. You can call your utility company to handle them or us. We have experience dealing with trimming branches around utility lines. The last reason is tree health. Sometimes, you can save an infected tree by strategically pruning away affected branches and limbs. When you thin the crown of a tree, you can improve the airflow the tree gets. This can be very beneficial for the tree. Why? If branches are crossing or rubbing together, they should be trimmed so that they don’t fall unexpectedly.

What are some general tree trimming tips?

  • You should trim your trees during the dormant season whenever possible. You can technically prune trees at any time, but it’s best to do while they’re dormant. The exception to the rule is when a hazard exists.
  • Be careful about the size of the branch you are going to remove. If it is less than five centimeters in diameter, you can easily remove it. If it’s larger, you may not want to do it. That’s when we suggest giving us a call. We can determine if the branch needs removal for the health of the tree. We always take the tree’s overall health into account.
  • Only trim branches that have weak, v-shaped, narrow angles. You want to keep branches that have U-shaped angles. Lateral branches can be between one-half and three-quarters the diameter of the stem at the point of attachment. Otherwise, they need to be removed.
  • Pruning tree branches is best when they’re young. Why? They are much easier to manage at this point in their development and the risk of leaving scars behind is much lower.
  • Don’t trim a branch too close or too long. You don’t want to leave a large stub or remove the branch collar.

 What are some tree trimming techniques?

  • Before you make a cut, look for the branch collar. It grows from the stem tissue at the bottom base of the branch. You must search out the branch ridge. It’s on the upper surface and is parallel to the branch angle at the stem.
  • Always cut outside the branch bark ridge and angle your cut down and away from the stem. Make sure you don’t injure the branch collar. This is very important as it could severely impact the health of your tree.
  • If a stem is too long, use the three-cut technique. You can make a notch on the side of the stem facing away from the branch being retained. Then, you make the second cut inside the crotch of the branch and above the branch ridge. The third cut will remove the stub by cutting through the stem parallel to the branch bark ridge.

If you have any questions about tree trimming, feel free to contact us. As we said, it’s one of our specialties. We are happy to help you keep your trees healthy and you happy. It’s kind of our thing.

Famous Trees of Texas – Castroville Pecan

The Castroville Pecan is a uniquely shaped tree. It’s located on the west bank of the Medina River which is about 25 miles away from San Antonio. The tree marks the approximate location where Henry Castro and a small group of colonists spent the night on September 3, 1844. Eight days later, on September 11, 1844, Bishop John M. Odin, who was the first Catholic bishop in Texas, said mass in the shade of the Castroville Pecan. He also dedicated a cornerstone which would become the first Catholic Church in the state.

Henry Castro is important because he was a Frenchman by birth and a Jew by faith. He, however, had a Spanish surname. He came to America as a consul for the kingdom of Naples in 1827. He loved this country so much that he became a citizen later that same year. Castro was only one of four men who successfully received a colonization contract from the Republic of Texas in the years 1841-1842. Why? Castro himself was responsible for bringing more than 1,200 immigrants to Texas. In addition, he founded colonies at Quihi, New Fountain, D’Hanis and Vandenburg. Castroville, which is named after Henry Castro, was the first permanent colony to be established between San Antonio and the Rio Grande.

Legal problems and delayed payments for his services as empresario of these colonies that he was instrumental in establishing cost Castro a personal fortune valued at more than $100,000 at the time. It also cost him much of the land he received under his colonization contract. During the War Between the States, Castro returned to France. He was hoping to raise additional funding for his colonization efforts. However, he got only as far as Monterrey, Mexico. He died there on November 3, 1865. His wife, Amelia Mathis, is interred in the Castroville Cemetery along with his daughter-in-law Augustine.

Castro’s contribution to the settlement of Texas was recognized in 1876. That year, the Legislature created and named in his honor a county in the northwest part of the state. As for the tree that bears the Castroville name, it died after a very cold winter in 1985. It has since been replaced by a young sapling raised from the original tree’s pecans. The tree was located behind the Landmark Inn in Castroville, Texas.

We hope you enjoyed learning about the Castroville Pecan, which is just one of the famous trees of Texas. If you have any questions about your trees, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Austin Tree Service. Our phone number is 512-341-8888. We look forward to working with you to keep your trees intact.

City of Austin Tree Removal Guidelines – Updated

Before you call us to remove a tree in your yard, we think it would be wise for you to familiarize yourself with the City of Austin Tree Removal Guidelines. They can help the tree removal process go smoothly especially if you need to get a permit. Certain trees are protected in the City of Austin.

What size trees are protected in the City of Austin?

A protected tree size in the City of Austin is determined by measuring the tree trunk. You do this at 4.5 feet off of the ground. This will give you the DBH, or diameter at breast height. Trees within the Austin city limits are protected once they reach 19 inches. Remember that Diameter = Circumference / 3.1416 and Circumference = Diameter X 3.1416. If you have questions on the formula or measurements, we can help. We understand the city guidelines and can tell you what you need to do.

So, what is the review process for a tree removal permit?

You only need a permit to remove a tree when it’s considered a protected tree. Protected trees, as we previously mentioned are 19 inches and above at the diameter of breast height (DBH), mentioned in the last section. When development of a residential property contains a protected tree size, there is a tree review that takes place. It occurs simultaneously with the building plan. The tree permit will be created along with the residential building permit. This rule really applies to developers before they build on property with protected tree sizes.

What may be more important for you, as a homeowner or a business owner within the Austin City Limits, is that a Tree Ordinance Review Application, or TORA, is required when protected trees need to be removed due to utility issues, diseases or other conditions. In other instances, you will have to submit a Residential Plan Review.

When do you need a TORA?

  • You need a Tree Ordinance Review Application is required when:
  • Trees are diseased, dead or imminent hazards,
  • You need a residential or commercial pre-development consultations,
  • You desire a residential or commercial utility repair or replacement,
  • There are commercial site plan excavations,
  • And there are non-construction related impacts to regulated trees (utility issues, conditions of trees, etc.)

You must submit your TORA through the online system, located at Austin Build + Connect (AB+C). The online application process can be used for TORA submittals, except for requests associated with residential construction. Those requests should be submitted through the Residential Plan Review process. A separate TORA is not required.  For information on how to submit an application, please visit this link.

When you do you need a Residential Tree Review/Permitting Process?

They are required when:

  • It impacts within the full critical root zone,
  • You need to prune more than 25% of the canopy,
  • And you must remove a regulated tree.

Please note that the tree permitting process for residential properties is consolidated with the Residential Plan Review application process. An online application is not required.

If you have any questions on the tree removal process, please contact the city arborist at or by calling 311.  We, at Austin Tree Service, can also help you with your tree removal questions. You can call us at 512-341-8888.

Why You Should Call Austin Tree Service for Your Tree Pruning?

Austin Tree Service is an expert in the removal of dead wood from your Central Texas trees. We do it for both appearance and clearance reasons. We understand that dead wood serves no real purpose to your tree. Rather, it can cause harm to your surrounding branches and even spread disease. Removing dead wood via pruning is, therefore, beneficial for the overall health of your trees and shrubs.

When should you prune your trees?

Tree pruning should occur when the tree needs it. You should be able to tell if you have broken limbs or branches on your trees. However, if there is a question, our certified arborist can come out to your home or business and view the tree(s) in question. We are experts at knowing what to do to keep a tree healthy. As a matter of course, if you haven’t pruned your trees in a while, it’s best to consider doing them during the winter. November and December are the ideal months so that your tree can be ready for spring. However, when tree pruning occurs is not as important as the fact that it does occur. If it needs it, then you must prune your trees.

What are some reasons why a tree needs pruning?

A tree may need pruning for several reasons. These include:

  • The removal of diseased or storm-damaged branches,
  • Thinning the crown to allow for new growth and better air circulation,
  • Reducing the tree’s overall height,
  • The removal of obstructive lower branches,
  • And shaping a tree for design, or esthetic, purposes.

What should you do if you need tree pruning Austin?

Once you decide you need a tree pruning Austin, we suggest that you give us a call. As we mentioned before, our certified arborist will come out and take a look at your tree and determine which branches need pruning. We will then give you a free estimate for all tree pruning services. You can then decide whether to accept the estimate or not. If you do accept the estimate, we will send out our highly trained staff to your home to perform the tree pruning Austin.

What we do during a tree pruning?

We believe in being cautious when undertaking a tree pruning. We will only trim the parts of your tree that need it. We do not believe in over-pruning or under-pruning. We get it just right. We will also caution you as to what’s best for the tree’s health and well-being. We, at Austin Tree Service, care about your trees and shrubs. If you need limbs removed due to storm damage, call us immediately. We don’t want you to have any troubles with loose limbs. They can cause property damage.

We have over 10 years of experience in tree pruning Austin as well as removal of trees. If you need us, we can be reached at 512-341-8888. We are happy to help you. Call today and we can get you started on your way to total tree health with a great tree pruning you’re sure to love.

Protecting Trees from Winter Damage – Other Considerations

Last week, we also talked about protecting trees from winter damage. We spent some time giving you information on how to protect your roots, leaves and trunks. This week, we’re going to focus on other considerations that help in protecting trees from winter damage. As always, we hope they are helpful to you.

Winter Thaws

During winter thaws, did you know that tree roots are especially susceptible to damage from heavy equipment? Yes, even normal-sized trucks can cause significant compression force, causing damage to the roots. This type of damage is usually well-hidden. Many times people will forget it happened when trees fail to perform in the following year. They simply don’t see the cause and effect because the length of time that the compaction occurred and the time when the thinned canopy or stunted growth shows up are so significant that they cannot correlate the two events. It’s our job as your tree care provider to remind you what the causes of your tree issues could be. Soil compaction is dangerous at any time of the year but never more so than during the winter.

Wind Damage

Wind damage is one of the most dramatic influences that the winter can have on a tree. As we all are aware, the forces of Mother Nature are often unpredictable and unrelenting. When protecting your trees from winter damage, it’s important that you inspect tree crowns and branch attachments in the late fall. You should note any suspect limbs or branches. You should then call us at 512-341-8888 to come out and prune your trees. We will also stabilize defects that will prevent you from further damage. Late fall and early winter is a great time to prune your trees. You don’t want lose branches to come free during heavy winds and harm your home or other trees, do you? We know you don’t.

In some areas of the country, they need to worry about damage from snow plows and ice melting products like sand or salt. In Central Texas, we don’t concern ourselves much with that, but we must be proactive in protecting trees from winter damage. That’s why you need us at Austin Tree Service. We can help you identify potential pitfalls and ensure that your trees are in the best shape they can be to get through the winter. If this year has been any indication so far, we are in for an interesting winter. We hope you will contact us should the need arise. We are here for you.


Protecting Trees from Winter Damage

Winter weather is on its way. Well, if the “Blizzard of 2017” over a week ago, showed us, it’s already here. Even here in the South, the impact of winter can take its toll. So, how do you go about protecting your trees from winter damage? We’ll explore that concept in this blog post.

The best way to address protecting trees from winter damage is with the mindset that prevention is easier than searching for a cure. This is true for lots of tree problems such as fungal infections, planting errors, soil compaction, irrigation equipment installations and most insect infestations. As we know, there are many parts to a tree, all of which benefit from prevention of damage in the winter. You can see many of these tree parts such as the bark, leaves, fruit, limbs and flowers. Some parts are unseen like the roots, heartwood, sapwood and cambium. In terms of protecting trees from winter damage, you should focus your efforts on three main tree structures.

The Roots

The goal for root protection centers around keeping the tree hydrated. You want your roots to be moist, not soggy or dry as you head into the winter. As the summer turns into fall, you should monitor for soil moisture. It’s very important for protecting your trees from winter damage. In the autumn, you may want to dig a few holes or poke a piece of rebar into the soil in various locations surrounding the root system. Why? It will provide you with a good snapshot of how moist your soil is at any given time.

There are a few reasons why you should monitor the soil moisture. First, many homeowners don’t know how to do it themselves. They are not sure what ‘moist’ is or even where the roots are. Second, all the above-ground parts of the tree depend on soil moisture for continued hydration throughout the winter. Third, it allows your tree care provider like us an opportunity to strengthen the client relationship and provide instructions on how to water trees in the fall.

Watering trees in fall is more difficult than doing it in spring and summer, but it’s still necessary. In most cases, in mid to late fall, customers ask their sprinkler service providers to blow out their system to prevent it from getting damaged during the winter cold. Once the sprinkler system is no longer operational, watering still needs to be done. You’ll have to use hoses, temporary drip lines or ad hoc sprinklers which are drained after each use. These devices can be very effective, but they are more difficult to use.

Leaves and Buds

For many people, leaves are the signal of tree health that they can most readily see. For deciduous trees, the focus is on the buds and new twigs as they continue tissues that are ready to push forth leaves and flowers for the upcoming year. Fortunately, these are covered with bud scales. They help retain moisture. However, in severe winters, the bud scales may not be thick enough to prevent desiccation. Conifers, on the other hand, can lose water through the leaves/needles and the buds. Windy days and cold temps can accelerate the drying of essential tissues.

You can employ two main methods to prevent the loss of hydration in leaves and buds. The first one is one we’ve already mentioned. It is the soil moisture monitoring and watering. The second is an application of an anti-desiccant product to coat the tree with a light arboricultural wax to help retain moisture. The products may vary slightly in terms of application, timing, and length of protection. You should consider applying them every six weeks. It can be tied in with winter holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Make sure you read and follow all label directions when applying these products.


Trunks are sometimes overlooked when thinking of tree injuries. The most common winter injuries to tree trunks are rodents and sunscald. Mice, voles, squirrels and rabbits are often found frolicking about in December and January. They want food to eat. They like tree trunks, especially the younger ones. Typically, they’ll chew on the bark and cambium tissues. This interrupts nutrient and water flow to the tree. If you want to, you could install PVC collars. They are good at preventing this type of damage.

Sunscald occurs on sunny days in winter when the rays of the sun warm the outer bark layers. This softens them and the cambium underneath, making the tissues softer. The injuries then occur when the weather gets colder at night. This causes the moisture to crystallize in the softened tissues. When repeated several times over the winter, the bark and conductive tissues will flake off and become nonfunctional.  You can use light-colored PVC collars to help prevent sunscald on your trees.

We really hope that this information helps in protecting trees from winter damage. If you have questions or concerns, we’d love to hear from you. We can be reached at 512-341-8888. Thank you.