Tree care

Basic tree care information for people who love their trees.


Most common problems and advice for native and ornamental trees in the Truckee/Tahoe area:

Proper spacing/thinning. Customers often wonder why their native trees look unhealthy or they suddenly have a large number of trees die at one. Approximately 98% of homeowners have too many trees. Native trees (pines, firs, cedars, etc) need to be thinned and properly spaced. Overcrowded tree stands cause poor structure, have increases in fungal and insect pests and the trees generally all struggle because they are competing for very limited resources, especially during drought times. Naturally fire would play a role and burn out smaller trees, brush, duff and dead limbs. We need to actively manage tree stands to ensure long term health and fire safety for the vegetation on your properties.

Mulching/Wood Chips.  The number one practice that homeowners can do to improve the health of their native and ornamental trees is adding a layer of wood chips.   Wood chips are generally free and the results are night and day.   A 2″-4″ layers will increase soil moisture, reduce weeds, insulate the soil,  improves soil structure and ads biological components, increase soil fertility and many other benefits!  It is a myth that wood chips are a fire danger, when in fact they are not very combustible at all.   The only requirement by Cal-Fire concerning chips and defensible space is to not have the chips deeper than 4″ and do not spread within 5′ of your home any other structures.    Contact us today for free loads of wood chips (put like to email or phone here).

Irrigation:  Water of large native trees is never recommend, however in certain cases and during drought times, high value trees can be given supplemental water.  This would be a case by case recommendation and it is advised to contact us for specific advice.   Soaker hoses or drip irrigation is the proper way to water trees.   Deep infrequent soakings are the key for all trees.   Ornamental trees typically need to be irrigated after planting and until they are established.   The water should be measured and monitored to ensure tree are not over or under watered.   In broad general terms trees can be irrigated 10 gallons per month per inch or diameter of the tree.  So if you have a 6″ diameter tree you can water 60 gallons a month or 15 gallons a week or approximately 7 gallons every 3 to 4 days.   Test and measure your irrigation to ensure the right amounts of water are used. 

For an extensive guide to tree ownership, please visit the Trees Are Good website.