Viewing posts categorised under: Gardening

Ultimate Guide for Planting Trees in your Yard

by Administrator 0 comments

Gardening Landscaping Tree Removal

Planting a tree is both a commitment and a lifelong investment. And it is also way more than just enhancing the aesthetic value of your property. When planting trees, the earth will celebrate with your graceful act as it contributes to its leafy canopy. 

With today’s emergence of technology, it has greatly devastated the world’s greenery, losing tons of oxygen over time due to the emissions of harmful gases into the atmosphere. Do you know that trees provide an array of environmental, economic and social benefits? 

For instance, from providing us shade from the extreme temperatures and weather conditions, keeping our soil intact, protecting us from flash floods, etc. These are just a few of the many positive impacts trees have provided us with.

Read on to find out how you can positively contribute by simply planting trees in your backyard to the world’s climate change issue.

Benefits of Having Trees in the Yard

Trees are more than just their aesthetic or colours, they also provide shade and privacy to your property. Amazingly, trees provide a long list of benefits to the people and even to the environment. Planting trees are not only beneficial within the spaces of your property, it also has environmental, social and economic benefits.  

Furthermore, trees come in different sizes, characteristics, colours and length. But it doesn’t matter if they come in different sizes and shapes, trees are straight beneficial to us and our surrounding ecosystem.

Increases property value

Besides providing us shade during the summer season, their aesthetic value will give you as much as twenty (20) percent according to the real estate estimates.

If you’re one of the homeowners who want to increase your property’s value, without spending a hefty amount of upkeep,  then you should start planting a tree today! 

Cleanses the air

It’s a known fact that trees absorb carbon dioxide and other harmful gases and in return provides us with breathable and filtered air. Indeed, trees are more than just their aesthetic value, it also gives value to the human-life form.

Prevents soil erosion and water runoff

Soil erosion and flash flooding are two environmental issues that significantly devastated other countries all around the globe. But let’s take it on a local-scale, planting trees will prevent or intercept gallons of water from devastating areas situated in low-lying land.

Buffers nuisance and other loud noises

If you live around a strategic neighbourhood, planting trees can help abate or buffer loud noises and other street nuisance. Planting trees are also advisable if you live near the airport or other strategic points.

Combats climate change

With the emergence of technology, industrial factories around the world have significantly contributed to the CO2 building up in the atmosphere. By planting trees, it helped in decreasing the harmful gases polluting the air. And we should all be part of this movement because we only have one planet that gives us life. Small efforts can go a long way.

15 Best Australian Trees for the Yard

Trees come in different sizes and shapes. And with each difference, they simply stun and create an attractive appeal that leaves us all in awe. Take a closer look at the following best Australian trees that fit your every preference.

1. Tilia Greenspire

With its versatility, elegance and subtle appeal, Tilia Greenspire compliments any small or large-sized garden. This tree makes a great screening plant if placed strategically either on your yard’s boundary or in the centre of the garden.

2. Crepe Myrtle

Crepe Myrtle is popular among gardeners because of its enchanting flowers that bloom in the summer and early autumn. This tree is ideal as a centrepiece especially in smaller gardens and can tolerate hot and dry conditions. Crepe Myrtle requires a mixture of full sun and shade.

3. Chinese Pistachio

If you’re looking for a low fuss tree yet vibrant and full of colour--Chinese Pistachio best suit your preference. During the Summer season, its foliage gives off a dark green colour. And changes into crimson and copper during Autumn. Indeed, the Chinese Pistachio is the best seasonal tree of all time.

4. Callery Pear

Callery Pear is an ornamental deciduous tree that is popular for its pure white flowers. This tree can grow up to 15 metres (in height) and 15 metres (across-in width) which best compliments if you have a large-sized garden. Callery Pear requires moist and fertile soil but thrives in full sun and shade.

5. Blueberry Ash

Blueberry Ash is one of the best seasonal trees also that can grow for up to eight (8) to twelve (12) metres in height and three (3) to four (4) metres in width. This tree has lush evergreen foliage which later flushes in coppery tones and fades into a lime green before it turns to dark green as it matures.

6. Japanese Maple

This tree is grown originally in the Asian continent e.g. Japan, China, Korea, Eastern Mongolia and Southeast Russia. Japanese Maple is a deciduous tree that produces different and enchanting colours all year-long which makes it every landscaper’s favourite. This tree can grow up to 4.5 metres tall and 2 metres wide.

7. Globosum

This tree is a designer maple originally from Norway which is recognisable with its thin trunk, round and plump foliage. During the Autumn season, Globosum develops a golden glow making it look like a gigantic lime-flavoured lollipop. This tree can grow up to 5 metres with a maximum of 4 metres in width.

8. Crepe Myrtle (Natchez)

This tree shows off stunning seasonal colour tones as charming as the Crepe Myrtles. From its bright green foliage covered in plumes of white flowers to a glittering gold mixed in red and orange during the Autumn season. Natchez Crepe Myrtle loves great pruning every Winter.

9. Tristaniopsis Luscious

This is a native tree but it’s not popular with some people. Moreover, Tristaniopsis Luscious is indeed lush that shows off its glossy and dark green foliage. Its foliage will change into copper, then lime before it turns again into a lush dark green as it matures. This evergreen tree best serves as a great screen for your property.

10. Weeping Mulberry

Used as a feature or a structure, the Weeping Mulberry is a unique and vibrant addition that will significantly enhance the overall appeal of your garden. This type of tree quickly develops into a woody and contorted structure that if left to weep to the ground can create a variety of uses. 

11. Corymbia Wildfire

If you’re looking for a tree that produces bold colours but doesn’t want them to grow into a deciduous tree like the Crepe Myrtle; Corymbia Wildfire suits your preference. This tree can grow up to 6 metres tall and 4 metres wide. During the Summer, the tree is covered with crimson red flowers which later turn into oversized gum nuts. 

12. Corymbia Scentuous

An iconic Australian tree that gives off a lemon-citronella smell that will surely please you and the local wildlife and will also make an excellent addition to your garden. Its slender and evergreen foliage makes a great screening to your garden. You can grow this tree up to 7 metres tall and 3 to 4 metres in width.

13. Eddie’s White Wonder Dogwood

With its magical display of spring and rich-autumn tones of foliage--Eddie’s White Wonder Dogwood will make a great addition to your garden. The more narrow variant form of this tree can serve as a protection to your house against harsh winds and extreme afternoon heat.

14. Moss White Birch

For smaller gardens, Moss White Birch is going to be a great addition. Their elegance and fine-bright-green foliage casts a dappled shade during the summer and will turn into a brilliant gold in autumn. Their upright white bark is an additional charm that is perfect in a woodland style garden. 

15. Cercis - Forest Pansy

Forest Pansy known as purple redbud is derived from its purple-red colour. This tree has large and heart-shaped leaves that turn from purple-red into purple-tinged-green during the summer season. During the autumn season, it turns into apricot and gold before revealing its enchanting and captivating framework of branches.

How to Choose the Right Site for Planting Trees

With our surroundings coming to life after the hard frost, now is the right time to look for the right spot to plant our trees. But before planting our trees, there are some considerations that we must think about carefully. 

For one, choosing the right place to plant the tree. This will help us grow our trees successfully--healthy and strong. First, let’s learn what are the basic steps to successfully grow a healthy tree in the backyard.

Right tree species 

Although it’s tempting to choose the prettiest trees with enchanting lush colours of leaves--looks are not always the basis. You have to look or research for a tree that is a native in the area where you reside.

Climate

Bear in mind that trees will need a minimum of six (6) hours of sun every day to thrive. Then, after finding your tree and making sure that the tree best fits in the area’s climate. And also consider how much shade the tree will receive in its surrounding such as the adjacent trees or structures.

Soil

The soil varies from one place to your chosen tree’s natural growing habitat. That’s why always consider the tree’s overall health and not just by how enchanting it looks. Furthermore, with today’s smart innovations and available resources, you can simply go to your local market to look for a soil kit.

With the help of the soil kit, you will be able to prepare your site ahead of time before deciding which serves your preference best.

Drainage

Another important key factor in considering before planting your tree is the drainage. You must consider if the area is sloped Will the tree will be able to receive or retain enough water? Check for other drainage issues especially on flat surfaces because it might retain the water resulting in suffocating the tree.

Inspect the area above and below

Besides the surface requirement, you need to see the overall aspect of the area especially if there are nearby power lines or underground utilities. Power lines will cause a major inconvenience and safety issue later on because the tree will require regular trimming or pruning. Furthermore, as the tree will mature, so as the rest of its body such as the trunk and roots.

Growing space for the tree

As mentioned above, depending on what type of tree you choose to plant in your yard, as they mature--so are their trunks, roots, branches and lush leaves. Poor placement of the tree can restrict its growth and will not fully bloom.

Consider a long-term plan

When planning to plant a tree in your yard, always consider your long-term plan. This long-term plan is both for your space and room for your tree to grow. Always consider how much the tree will occupy a space in your yard? Do you have plans for a garage or a driveway in the future?

By considering laying out a plan, it will help avoid inconveniences and costly tree removal in the future.

Mistakes to Avoid in Yard Planting

Oftentimes, when planting a tree, we disregard the most basic steps for a successful tree planting project. If you’re not so keen on following the first steps before you plant the tree, it is expected that it will be the source of your problem sooner or later.

However, for future reference, allow us to show you how to avoid these common tree planting mistakes. You don’t have to go deeper to research what are the do’s and don’ts because we will make it simple so you can start your project right away.

For a successful tree planting project, take note of the following mistakes and avoid them by any means necessary.

  • Poor choice of plot or area. This is one of the most common mistakes when planting a tree. Always consider that as the trees will mature, so as their width and length. So, look for an area where they can freely grow and expand their trunk, branches and leaves.
  • Digging and planting too deep. Another common mistake when planting a tree is burying the tree in a deep hole. Deep planting can reduce growth and the worse thing that can happen is your tree will not survive.

To avoid the mistake of burying the tree in a deep hole, measure the tree’s root ball--that’s the size of what you’re going to dig. Then, place your tree.

  • The hole is too small. Digging can be tedious and it’s tempting to simply dig a hole same as the width or size of the tree’s root ball. Planting your tree in a small-width-hole will not help the root establish in the soil which helps the tree facilitate its growth.

To avoid this mistake, keep in mind, the width of the hole is the only thing you should spend your energy on. Dig a hole 2 to 3 times wider than the tree’s root ball. 

  • Planting the tree at the wrong time. We can’t just simply purchase a tree seedling and plant them any time we want. Summer is the worse month of the year to plant our trees. Plan your tree planting project when the hard frost has passed and this is especially during the spring and fall season.

Moderate temperatures keep the trees from potential stressors and allow them to establish themselves in their surroundings successfully.

  • Wrong area or site to plant. A tree can’t bloom if there are debris and other detrimental factors that keep them from growing. Make sure the spot is not in a sloped area where it washes the water away easily and not too close to any structure or power lines.
  • Overwatering or improper watering. Overwatering is one of the reasons why newly planted trees die. Too much water suffocates the roots resulting in the drowning of the young tree especially if your soil is composed of clay.
  • Fail to monitor the tree’s growth. The most crucial time for trees is when they are establishing their growth. While growing, trees will encounter changes in temperatures and different patterns of the weather. 

Besides the changes in their surrounding, trees will likely encounter diseases and other detrimental elements such as pests. 

How to Take Care of the Trees in Your Yard

Trees come with different needs and characteristics. Some may don’t require maintenance, some need meticulous routine care. But it doesn’t matter how and what type of range of measures they come with--they need to receive enough TLC.

Keeping our trees healthy and strong will not only enhance our landscape’s appeal. Trees have beneficial impacts on our health as well. By taking care of them, it allowed us to take advantage of their natural provision of health benefits such as clean and fresh air.

Take these helpful maintenance tips by heart for a healthy and strong tree. Healthy trees can withstand no matter what type of season they will encounter.

1. Plant the tree at the right spot or area

Initially, one of the best ways to ensure the tree will live longer and healthy is to make sure it is a native in the area you live in. 

Then, look for a spot where the tree can get enough sun and enough space so it can grow without any constraints such as power lines. Make sure you don’t dig close to underground utility or power lines.

2. Proper watering

One of the most common notions and questions we encounter is “Do trees require regular watering?” It may come as a surprise to some, but trees are just like any ordinary plants that need water. And this is especially important if you live around an area where it takes several weeks to rain and long hot days.

During the growing season of a newly planted tree, it should be given nearly four (4) to ten (10) gallons of water. This amount of watering must be done for the first or two growing seasons.

3. Mulching

Mulching your tree will help insulate the roots of the tree and prevent drying of the soil. Spread your mulch for about two (2) to four (4) inches away from the base. And be cautious about not to place your mulch or cover the base of the trunk to prevent the tree from rotting.

4. Fertilise regularly or as needed

One of the most effective ways to ensure that trees will grow healthy and strong is to provide the tree with the necessary nutrition it needs.

Naturally, trees in the forest feed off natural plant materials within their surroundings such as dead leaves. However, in our yard, these materials are an eyesore and we simply take them away.

Moreover, you can purchase a slow-release fertiliser, then place it on your soil regularly. This will give nutrients to the soil from which trees will benefit from.

5. Proper pruning

Proper trimming or pruning of your trees can improve their structure and facilitate new and healthy growth. Make sure when you’re going to prune your trees, it’s when they’re at the dormant stage.

To ensure that your tree will receive the best and proper maintenance care, call for a professional arborists assistance. This will not only facilitate healthy growth, but it will make sure that your trees will live long and strong.

6. Know what your trees truly needs

The aforementioned are vital to the overall health of your trees. However, if you’re not able to tackle what your tree truly needs, it’s not going to be enough. What you need to do is to research and learn about your trees. 

7. Take care of the roots

A healthy and strong tree needs healthy roots. Providing your soil with nutrients and making sure it’s not compacted, will help sustain the tree’s greenery. Compacted soil will prevent oxygen and water from infiltrating the roots. If this happens, it is expected that the tree will not receive enough of the vital nutrients it needs.

Should You Hire Tree Professionals?

The emergence of the DIY trend and the availability of resources made everyone rely on their skills and become professionals of their hobbies. Indeed, we should innovate and be resourceful when the professionals are not around. However, there are limitations to what we can do and what we can offer.

As mentioned earlier, tree planting is a lifetime commitment and an obligation at the same time. It’s a commitment to the fact that we should meet the tree's needs while growing. Additionally, it’s an obligation because we should see to it as the tree matures, it will not cause any inconvenience.

Therefore, it’s only wise to call for a professional arborist’s assistance to help you weigh your options. Besides an arborist’s expertise, hiring a professional offers an array of benefits, including:

Efficiency and Competence

Hiring an arborist will make your project run smoothly since grooming a tree requires skills, time and effort. Besides the availability of low-cost gardening materials--we don’t know if those were the right tools you’re going to need to groom your trees.

With a professional arborist, tree maintenance will be as easy as a breeze and the yard is well-manicured all year-round. Also, it saves you from spending on unnecessary things and focuses more on your project.

Proper Tree Maintenance

As part of your commitment and obligation, hiring an arborist is one of them so your tree will grow healthy. Trees require regular trimming and must be handled by a professional. Without prior knowledge of trimming can compromise the health of the trees.

Keep in mind, trees live longer and can either make your yard attractive or unappealing. To avoid any mishaps later on, better leave the trimming and grooming to a professional arborist.

Safety 

Besides the professional’s skills in growing lush and enchanting trees, they can safely carry out the project without harming anyone for the whole duration of your project. Besides their knowledge, they are equipped with the right safety equipment and tools.

Although we can’t dismiss any minor mishaps, professional arborists can handle the situation safely and effectively.

Aesthetics

In the first place, the reason why we opt for planting trees in the yard is for aesthetic purposes. However, trees will not only enhance the landscape’s appeal but will also increase the value of your property.

A groomed and well-maintained tree has positive impacts on the overall aspect of your property and not just on the spectators.

Healthy and Flourishing

Hiring an arborist will help maintain the tree's overall health condition while growing. Trees are not without a disease. They become prone to diseases over time as they can be exposed to various weather conditions that can rot them from inside and out. 

When you hire a professional, they can easily see right through your trees and what needs to be done. You’ve come this far to let your project go to waste.

Services Advantages

When hiring a professional arborist, not only they will get your trees growing healthy and aesthetically appealing. But they will provide you with extensive tree maintenance services such as:

  • Tree trimming or pruning 
  • Removal of rotten branches and twigs, 
  • Grinding old tree stumps 
  • ..and other landscaping or gardening services.

Perhaps you can do all these time-consuming and tedious landscaping and tree maintenance care but only when you have enough time on your hands.

But if you want to spare your weekends to rest and simply enjoy the view of your yard, leave the task to the professionals.

Conclusion

There’s nothing wrong with being a pro in DIY it is a commendable skill that not everyone can acquire. With the help of our lists on growing a healthy and enchanting tree--may this article serve as your guide on all your future tree planting projects.

Talk to us and book our professional arborist today! Call us at 0475 463 597 so we can provide you with the initial and necessary steps to start with your tree planting project. Trees Down Under will make sure your trees and garden will receive the best and high-quality treatment and services all year-round.

Also, if you are looking for a fast, same-day arborist and landscaper, don’t hesitate to call our hotline! We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to accommodate all your emergency services needs.

Trees Down Under care about your safety and convenience--that’s why we make sure you can reach our arborists anytime. If you want to request for an estimate on your landscaping and tree services, call us at 0475 463 597 for a no-obligation quote.

Talk to us so we can start your tree planting project today!

10 Best Upcycle Ideas After Tree Trimming

by Administrator 0 comments

Gardening Landscaping Tree Removal

Garden owners and tree growers know the value of trimming, pruning, and maintaining a tree to preserve its aesthetic value and overall health. However, along with every trimming project comes a pile of logs, branches, and twigs that most homeowners might find useless and rubbish.

More often than not, we would chop those logs into firewood or dump them in the compost. But if it still isn't enough to get rid of the debris, you may want to consider upcycling them for sustainable use.

Upcycling is the process of transforming discarded objects, in our case trimmed branches and logs, into something attractive and useful. That said, here are ten (10) best upcycling ideas you can do after tree trimming.

  1. Sitting Stool

If you have branches and logs large enough, you can upcycle them into sitting stools with a few tools and wood polish. Cut the log down to your preferred size, sand it up, run a few coats of wood polish, and place a pillow on the surface after drying.

  1. Bedroom Corner Table

Using any sanding tools or sandpaper, you can transform those sizable branches and logs into a small yet durable corner table for your bedroom. Otherwise, the table can fit anywhere else, be it your porch, living room, or your favourite reading corner.

  1. Outdoor Flooring/Path walk

If the trimmed branches aren't large enough for a stool or table, you can still find other ways to upcycle them. One is to cut them down to size and build a garden path walk instead of using concrete steps or stones.

Moreover, you can also use them to build a unique outdoor flooring instead of using tiles. Make sure to sand down any rugged edges before placing them on the floor to avoid splinters.

  1. Flower Planters

You can upcycle branches that are wide enough as mini flower/herb planters or nursery pots. Depending on the size, you can bore holes horizontally or vertically and add humus, wood chips, or potting soil for your plants.

We suggest planting herbs and succulents on upcycled flower planters, as they wouldn't need as much water to provide a long-lasting vibrance to your garden.

  1. Birdbath

If you have a large saucer at home and want your garden to flourish with birds, a birdbath is the easiest upcycling project for you. All you have to do is secure the saucer on a trimmed log or branch, add some water and bird seeds on the side, then you're done.

However, if you only have slim twigs and sticks as trim-offs, you can make a tripod out of them, tie them up with twine, and place the birdbath on top. It will surely give your garden a nature-inspired upgrade.

  1. Candle Holders

For people looking for a rustic and natural yet cozy bathroom accessory, candle holders should be the go-to projects. Drill a hole in small branches and logs and transform them into tea light candle holders which should hold specific candle sizes, depending on your choice.

  1. Seedling Markers

If you have a vegetable garden and has nothing to do with trimmed twigs and branches from your tree, you can always use them as seedling markers for your garden!

Putting sticks and twigs on your garden beds can help you sort veggies, herbs, and plants from one-another without any cost. If you have print-outs or labels, tack them onto the seedling markers, and you now have a low-cost yet useful upcycling project.

  1. Vases

For logs and branches too big for candle holders, consider upcycling them into indoor vases. If you have a router at home or know someone who has one, routing out the log's centre will transform it into a great flower vase.

Otherwise, drilling a hole to fit the plant stems should do the job. What counts is the effort of doing it and the aesthetic value it adds to your home without the price.

  1. Trivets

Coffee lovers and tea drinkers would love having wooden trivets in place of fabric and plastic ones. When strung or glued in a circle or any desired shape, cross-sections of trimmed branches will make an excellent trivet.

Wood also adds another heat-protective layer, preventing your hot coffee pot or casserole from ruining your table polish or fabric, making it a perfect and cheap upcycling project.

  1. Ornaments

Artsy individuals can show off their skills in making holiday decorations and ornaments from upcycled wood chips and trimmed branches.

Start by slicing a tree branch into thin cross-sections and sand them down. Next, drill a hole on top of one and strung it with twine, which you can use to hang it on your Christmas tree, fireplace, or wall.

Finally, you can bring out your art materials and paint on the sanded surface, making it your tiny natural canvas. You can make this upcycling idea for any holiday and occasion. It's also a perfect family bonding activity.

Conclusion

Upcycling trimmed tree branches and twigs shouldn't break your bank. With a few tools, helping hands, and creativity, you can transform any trimming rubbish into something sustainable and valuable.

Besides, while the above ideas make upcycling trimmings easy enough, the trimming job takes quite a skill and equipment to execute safely and properly. With that, Trees Down Under is here to help.

Trees Down Under takes pride in our expert arborists who are serving Sydney's green space for more than three (3) decades. Set a schedule with our friendly staff and experience reliable and efficient tree and garden services.

Trees Down Under is the perfect solution for your garden. We cater to residential and commercial gardening services in Sydney. Call us at 0475 463 597 for more questions or to get a free estimate.

5 Trees You Should Never Plant in Sydney

by Administrator 0 comments

Gardening Landscaping Tree Removal

Any gardener in Sydney knows the feeling of planting a new tree in their humble yard. Trees drastically add beauty and shade to your garden, giving it a more natural yet aesthetic value.

But not all trees bring good news to your green space. Some species carry inevitable urban residential and commercial landscape problems, while other invasive trees are better left in Australia's forests.

Here are five trees you should never plant in Sydney to help you out on your next garden tree planting, especially in urban residential areas and commercial spaces. If you've crossed these out on the list but is still unsure what to plant, consult your local arborists at Trees Down Under.

  1. Golden Robinia (Robinia pseudoacacia)

Robinias are popular trees since the 1980s, especially for vast garden landscapes. It's particularly common in Australian green spaces, but most garden owners share the same plight with this particular tree.

Before you consider growing a Golden Robinia, it's worth noting that it produces suckers on the damaged root systems. That said, hurting its extensive root system by mowing, trimming, or tilling will lead to unwanted suckers.

Besides, while it isn't the worst tree to grow, you should think carefully before planting one in your garden.

  1. Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum camphora)

While a Camphor Laurel is a majestic tree, it is highly self-propagating and has an aggressive root system to cause sewage pipe leakages. Gardeners near Sydney's woodlands usually treat these trees as weeds because of their invasive and aggressive species.

You can frequently spot Camphor trees on moist gullies and slopes, forming a dense canopy. That said, they tightly compete against Sydney's native species and continue reproducing despite removal efforts.

  1. Poplar (Populus)

Poplar trees come in many variants. However, most of them share the same unfavourable traits for an average gardener. For one, poplars have aggressive root systems that can disrupt concrete sidewalks, block and damage pipelines, and deteriorate solid foundations.

Moreover, poplars are also known to produce suckers, which means you might end up with more poplars in your backyard and in places you don't want to. They are also fast-growing trees, which most variants are growing up to 50 metres tall and 3 metres in diameter, making them unsuitable for smaller green spaces.

  1. Pride of Bolivia (Tipuana tipu)

Like the previous trees species, the Pride of Bolivia, commonly known as Tipuana, are fast-growing trees with invasive and aggressive root systems.

Its roots are strong enough to disrupt sewage lines and lift concrete driveways, making it dangerous to plant nearby households and buildings. That said, only consider growing this tree if you have a vast yard and isn't planning to have it nearby your house or any establishments.

Additionally, Pride of Bolivia is too invasive that Queensland classifies it as a weed and not an ornamental tree. That's because its root system will spread out looking for water, usually causing leaks on taps and damaged sewer lines.

  1. Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)

While it's famed for its distinct beauty and characteristics, the Weeping Willow carries a few consequences that can be detrimental to your garden. One of which is that it multiplies through layering, a process where it forms new roots from its stems.

Furthermore, the tree produces suckers from its roots, and because of that, many local councils classify the Weeping Willow as weeds. Its root system can also interfere with pipelines and should only grow more than 15 metres away from utility lines like gas, water, and electrical lines.

Conclusion

There are tons of ideal tree choices for every type of garden landscape. However, the trees discussed above have root systems and reproduction characteristics that gardeners and arborists deem to be invasive and destructure to Sydney's natural landscapes.

Choosing the right tree is only the first step towards a beautiful garden. Planning, maintaining, and cultivating trees are also part of the long-term commitment to growing them. That said, you need a committed and passionate team of arborists to lend a helping hand.

Trees Down Under is a team of professional arborists who have been serving hundreds of clients in Sydney for more than 30 years. Our tools and experience in tree and garden services ensure that your garden will get the care it deserves.

We cater to residential and commercial garden services in Sydney. Speak to our friendly staff at 0475 463 597 for more questions and to get a free estimate.

Avoid These 8 Critical Mistakes When Trimming Your Trees

by Administrator 0 comments

Gardening Landscaping Tree Removal

Regardless of what tree you're growing, trimming them will often result in healthy and lasting growth. Just like pruning, you need to consider a few things when trimming branches off your tree to prevent permanent damage to it.

That said, it's always best to have an arborist trim your trees, as it helps protect you and your property from safety risks. But if you want to do it yourself, here are eight (8) critical mistakes to avoid when trimming your trees.

  1. Trimming Just About any Branch

More often than not, people who choose to trim their trees only target scarce and dead branches. While that's mostly the case, you also need to keep the following in mind:

  • Amount of branches and foliage to trim away
  • Which parts and branches of the tree should you trim
  • How to properly trim the branches

You can potentially harm your tree if you don't plan the right foliage to trim off. Doing so harms its overall health and longevity.

  1. Trimming Without Planning

Like the first mistake we discussed, you need to plan out how your tree should look after trimming it down. You must preserve the tree's structure and health when removing branches and foliage.

Poorly trimming the branches may lead to damages that might take time and money to repair, potentially leading to the tree's death. That said, plan before you trim.

  1. Using Improper Gear

There are tons of gardening and trimming equipment in your average hardware. However, every tool is designed for a specific use, and some of them don't work as better as the others. For instance, a garden hacksaw can trim larger branches better than garden cutters.

Aside from that, using dull cutters and unsanitised gear may strain your tree and expose you to safety risks while trimming. Fungi and bacteria on a dirty blade can transfer to the tree, potentially causing severe damage.

If your tool is leaving jagged cuts after trimming, it creates open wounds that won't heal as fast as sterile wounds. Hence, we strongly advice using sharp and clean tools when trimming your trees.

  1. Trimming Below the Branch Collar

A branch collar is the closest part of a branch from its main trunk. It is a crucial part of the branch that helps transport nutrients to and from the tree.

Since a tree has countless branch collars around its trunk, it can be dangerous and harmful for the tree if you trim too much of the branch and cut off the collars.

Most of the time, people would trim unwanted branches flush against the tree's trunk. Doing so will damage the trunk's structure and tissues. Hence, we strongly suggest cutting about an inch away from the branch collar, or the point where the branch connects with the trunk.

  1. Trimming Very Little Foliage and Branches

If you're landscaping your shrubs and slow-growing trees, there's a good chance that you might trim only the tips of the stems and branches. While it's possible to do so, leaving a significant deadweight can affect the tree's health and your safety over time.

Furthermore, if a tree shows signs of disease and fungi infestation, failing to trim enough of the branches can promote disease spreading and lead to severe growth problems.

  1. Heavy Trimming During Spring and Summer

When you trim too much foliage from a tree during its growing season, you're running the risk of starving the tree. Keep in mind that a tree makes its food through its foliage. Thus, removing too many leaves will reduce its ability to photosynthesise.

Additionally, trimming during mid-summer, where drought likely occurs, further stresses-out your tree. A heavily trimmed tree will become less resilient, especially when water and soil moisture are severely scarce.

Excessive trimming during the hot season may also expose the tree's previously shaded bark. Doing so will cause sunscald and dry/peeling barks.

  1. Stubbing and Flush Cutting

Performing a proper prune and trim will minimise a tree's wounds, reducing its time to heal. On the other hand, a stub cut leaves the decaying matter in the tree that may spread backwards into the trunk.

Moreover, a flush-cut is when you cut the branch too close to the trunk and leave a large open wound, exposing the tree to fungi and diseases for a significant period. We recommend avoiding both cuts as they usually lead to the tree's death. That said, it's always best to have an arborist take care of the trimming.

  1. Frequent Excessive Trimming

At this point, you should already know that planning the time for trimming is crucial for your tree's health. Aside from that, it's also important to note the intervals of every trim.

It would be best if you give your tree enough time to heal and recover. Keep in mind that excessive trimming stresses a tree, exposing it to diseases, especially if done in the wrong season. 

Every trim is a tree's wound, so make sure it completely recovers before you trim or prune it again. Open wounds serve as entry points for decay fungi and bacteria that can rot a tree from the inside out. Hence, frequent improper trimming can eventually kill your tree faster than its average lifespan.

Conclusion

The above list is only some of the many things that can go wrong when trimming and pruning your tree. So if you don't have the confidence, tools, and skill to execute the job, it's always efficient to have a professional handle it.

We at Trees Down Under boasts a team of passionate arborists who have been serving Sydney's gardens for over 30 years. Speak with our staff for an appointment and experience time-tested and reliable tree and garden services.

Trees Down Under offers tree services in Sydney. Call us at 0475 463 597 for inquiries and a free estimate.

We are the perfect solution to all your trees and garden needs.

Termite Prevention Tips for Your Trees

by Administrator 0 comments

Gardening Landscaping Tree Removal

Termites are one of the most common infesters in any garden. If you ever experience regular occurrences of damage in your wood fixtures and you find yourself constantly cleaning up traces and tracks of tiny wood shavings, termites might be tearing your home slowly. They love the presence of wood that sustains the colony.

Termites can grow big in population. They work in thousands and can go through full wood damage of one home in a year. This translates to about millions of dollars in damage to all termite infestations in Australia. Take this into serious consideration if you want to maintain your property well. These tiny critters can put a huge chunk out of your budget if they go unnoticed and untreated.

Termites have been around for millions of years. Building colonies is crucial in their successful infestations. What they lack in sense of sight, they make up in numbers. Can you believe that the majority of the termites that cause too much damage in the wood are blind pests?

Trees and woody shrubs are in danger with the presence of termites. Protect your tree in the backyard and put them away from danger with prevention tips that keep these tiny insects at bay. There are effective methods that prevent termites from killing your tree in the backyard. You don't need the burden of infestations in your comfort zones. Let these tips guide you in keeping your property termite-free for a long time. 

General Information About Termites

Termites are insects that cause damage in houses and establishments due to their ability to consume wood endlessly. Their primary diet consists of wood. These insects are often mistaken for ants as they seem to share a lot of characteristics from afar. As ants have a caste system and live in colonies, termites share this behaviour with ants. Termites are so likened to ants that they are dubbed as “white ants.”

Physical characteristics of termites

Termites' physical characteristics vary depending on their species and position in their natural caste system. Even so, they share general characteristics common to all species of termites.

  • Length: anywhere from ¼ to ½ inch
  • Colours: ranges from off white, brown and black
  • Antennae: straight, unlike ants that bend at a 90-degree angle
  • Body: soft
  • Wings: wings with the same equal length, unlike ants that have bigger front wings than hind wings

The caste system of termites

Termites follow a caste system that differentiates their specific roles in the colonies. Different termite roles in the colony mean different physical characteristics and body structures. A soldier termite doesn’t look the same as a worker termite. Likewise, alates look different as they have wings, unlike other termites.

  • Worker termites are soft-bodied, wingless termites that work for the colony. They usually appear lighter in colour than any other caste. Workers labour the most to keep the colony going. Their responsibilities include foraging (finding food), storing food, maintaining the nest. Workers also take care of the young and groom other termites in the caste.
  • Soldier termites are soft-bodied termites with enlarged heads that are usually darker than worker termites. They have powerful jaws for protecting the colony. Soldiers defend the tunnels and the nest. Worker termites feed them. They cannot feed themselves due to their enlarged heads and blocking jaws.
  • Alates or flying termites are reproductive termites that have wings. This class of termites are usually confused with flying ants. The wings are equal in length and have straight antennae and abdomen too. Their main role is to swarm out of the colony to form new colonies. Alates don’t keep their wings forever. They lose it after settling down to build their new colony. Consider alates as future Queens and Kings of new colonies.
  • King and Queen termites were former alates that flew around in peak swarming season. They lose their wings once they land and they start to form colonies of their own. The existence of secondary and tertiary queens exists in a farther but connected satellite to expand the colony.  King termites are only second to Queen termites in the hierarchy.

Most active season of termites

Termites have peak seasons. Most termites swarm and reproduce the most during spring and summer. Warmer conditions are more attractive to termites. Termites go out less in colder conditions. Make no mistake. They can still cause damage to trees all year long. Their peak seasons are only their prime for filling in the colony and preparing for possible issues in the colony.

Termites versus ants

As they are hailed as “white ants” it can be hard to distinguish termites from actual ants. Apart from differing physical appearance, termites and ants have different behaviours to help you in spotting them inside your home. By knowing which critter is currently in your home, you can plan out treatments and practices to prevent their further destruction in your property.

  • Termites consume wood. Ants don’t consume wood, but some types of ants like Carpenter Ants can go through wood faster than termites.
  • Termites leave wood trails and mud holes as tunnels and colony transport. Ants leave a pheromone trail that other ants follow. As such, ant infestations are more visible than termites.
  • Termites have male and female sexes in all caste classes. Majority of ants are females with male drones functioning only for reproduction purposes with the Queen Ant, after which it dies.
  • Termites are quieter than ants as they have poor sense or no sense of sight to engage in other activities. Ants are more aggressive than termites as they can consume predators like smaller insects and other dead pests. Sometimes, ants become the predator of termites.

Termites go through wood structures for food. It’s their natural habitat. In larger ecosystems in nature, termites are known as natural wood eaters. This is why houses and trees are attractive spots for this pest. Look out for termites within your home structure to prevent further destruction. 

How to Prevent Termite Infestation in Trees

Keep these various methods in mind to prevent termite infestation in your property. Prevention is always better than cure. Trees can cost a lot to treat when spotting termites too late. Protect your tree before it succumbs to complete termite consumption.

Landscape space and building space

Planning your layout before residential construction is a good move. Before you plan to build a structure in the property, or grow a tree in the backyard, assign some generous space. Keep your trees and shrubs far from wood structures of the house. This saves your tree and your home and prevents further colonies from moving between the two structures.

Termites can migrate from your homes to your tree. It is best to allocate ample space for your tree in the backyard that is out of reach from your home structures. 18 inches of gap between soil and any wood portions helps divert building termites.

Reducing moisture

Moist places are optimal conditions for building a colony of termites. Keep the soil dry. Termites thrive in moist, damp spaces so make sure that the soil and ground of your residence as dry as possible. Reducing moisture also means constant residential maintenance checks that include parts and aspects of your home that need good working conditions to prevent damage.

Schedule a maintenance check for your gutters, pipes and drainage systems. Faulty gutters and leaks in the structure are key to establishing a termite colony inside residences. Inspect faucets and water pipes and external Air Conditioner units to fix possible leakages.

These are areas and aspects of your home, but they connect to your gardens. This means that your tree gets affected too. Builders sometimes place drainages and water pipes near trees. Inversely, some trees can grow and develop over your residential water pipes. It becomes easy access for termites.

Keep wood sources away

If there’s wood in your home and you have a tree growing outside, it’s a feast for termites. It will only be a matter of time before migrations and branches of colonies grow from one wood source to another.

If you plan to keep wood for usage in your property, be sure to store it away from your home. Those wood piles can serve as a starting point for termites before they migrate to your home or your trees.

Build some sort of barrier area to prevent termites from migrating via ground. Most wood mulches are attractive to termites for retaining moisture and constant wood sources. Some mulches help repel them. Use a termite-resistant mulch for termites. Some examples of mulches that repel termites are Melaleuca mulch, Cedar mulch, Eucalyptus mulch in spaces near the trees. Resins from some mulches are toxic to termites.

Regular tree maintenance

Trees grow bigger over time. It’s natural for parts of the tree to start in one area far from your home and grow several feet of aerial area towards your home. As such, it’s part of your responsibilities to maintain the tree. You hit two birds with one stone by regular maintenance. One, you groom the tree well. Two, you lessen any possible growing pests that can travel from location to another fast.

Pruning and trimming are beneficial to growing trees in your yard. Prune your tree as a maintenance step and routine check for termite presence. Trim branches of the tree that are getting too close to your home. Branches that are far out and in contact with other wood structures can serve as a migration point and colony space for termites.

Do monthly checks for the presence of termites in trees. Watch out for the signs of their presence. Declining trees attract termites more than living trees, but some species still like feeding on live ones. It’s best to do preventive maintenance before termite infestation becomes an emergency.

You are never too late or too early for a tree maintenance. Reliable experts are always around Sydney to help you in maintaining your tree for top-notch termite protection. Trees Down Under can help you in that aspect. Our expertise in tree services can help you fight off these pests. Is your tree due for a prune or a trim? Call us now at 0475 463 597.

How Do You Know if You Have Termite Infestation

It’s not impossible to spot the existence of termites. They stay hidden and less visible than other insects but they still leave signs and symptoms of their infestation. Keep check of your properties and your trees to lessen the damage caused by termites. Ask yourself some termite-relevant questions.

  • Are there wood shavings in some areas of the house? Check any wood piles, wooden structures or wood fixtures for any hollow structures within. Termites go inside wood structures to feed. For example, if you swing your wooden door and notice trails of wood shavings falling, termites might be chewing through it for some time already. Termite infestation often results in saggy floorings and loose wood.
  • Am I spending on wood structure repairs? Little costs pile up and accumulate. If you’re always dealing with damaged doors or unstable wood structures at home, you’re missing out on termites that are building home in another area of the house. Talk with the people who maintain your home or repair house damage for possible termites growing along with your wood structures.
  • Do I have any existing leaks that leave a moist space? Damp environments attract termites. If you have any existing leaks around your area, check them as soon as you can. Also look out for poor drainage and gutters, faulty pipes and leaking faucets. These aspects contribute to infestations.
  • Does my home have any big holes or long deep cracks? Holes and cracks are also termite-prone spaces. Along with any home leakages, check for existing cracks and holes in your home. These cracks can house the most elaborate termite shelter tubes.
  • Do I use mulch around the yard? Some mulches like Cypress Sapwood and pine mulches invite termites. Refrain from layering mulches that are more than 2 inches thick. This can turn home to termites as they like moist spaces. Use only termite-repellant mulches to keep your land moist but termite-free.
  • Do I have light sources in my property? Termites often swarm. The most visible group of termites that swarm are alates of the flying termites. Light attracts them and they leave a trail of discarded wings sometimes. Garden lights and open spaces often attract alates which is a sign of a nearby colony.
  • Is my tree sick? Sick trees decline faster and can become susceptible to more infestation. Look for wood shavings and mud tubes that are present in the tree. If you want to test it out further, drill the middle section of the tree to see if it’s hollow. There should be termites coming out.
  • Are there any blowholes and hollow spaces in my trees? Subterranean termites form nests in tree roots and trunks.
  • Is my tree regularly maintained? Termites might be far from your home. They might be living and feeding on your tree. Check the health of your tree. Sick trees serve as definite food for termites.

Spotting termites can be a challenge sometimes. They don’t leave more definite signs and symptoms like ants do. They can go through wood structures without you ever knowing most of the time. When they do leave signs, it’s more or less too late as they have gone through most of your wood structure already. Nevertheless, inspect for some changes inside your house and garden areas.

Colonies of termites live in structures as home. This termite tube comes from somewhere. Termites form it over time with wood, saliva and termite feces. If you suspect that there is an active colony nearby, check around for mud tubes that branch out to many areas in the house. They won't be too hard to miss. These mud tubes serve as a tunnel for transportation that leads to much bigger colony spaces.

Termites in Trees

Trees are natural areas for termites. As it contains a lot of wood for consumption, it becomes an attractive feeding and nesting ground for termites. They serve as a good starting point for growing colonies too.

Subterranean termites

Subterranean termites feast around trees. This kind of termite likes dead or declining trees as they are easier to digest. The moist soil around the tree roots also serves as a nest for termite eggs and the Queen Termite. Subterranean termites can dig tunnels through the soil to get moisture further expanding and branching their colonies downward.

Dampwood termites

Dampwood termites like decayed wood as they are moist and easier to digest. Although their colonies are smaller compared to Subterranean termites, this makes them undetected for years. They also thrive with water leaks that come from buildings and establishments. They can live in building establishments. Nonetheless, they infest best in rotting wood. Trees are common locations for Dampwood termites despite not building tunnels like Subterraneans. 

Breeding ground for termites

Declining trees or unhealthy trees serve as a food source for termites. Termites are easier to identify in trees as they usually stay there for wood abundance. Trees also serve as quick breeding grounds for termites. Termites usually nest in the ground soil of the tree. It’s best to eradicate them before they turn from hundreds of hardworking termites to thousands in no time. Check for clusters of small, white eggs around the soil of the tree.

Dangers of termites in trees

As termites work around consuming the wood in declining trees, it can be dangerous to you. Sick trees consumed by termites can turn very unstable with weakened branches too. As termites work through consuming the wood from within, the tree becomes more hollow with weak wood in the middle section. This affects your safety as well. Worst case scenario is your tree giving out and falling with somebody nearby.

Termite breeding

Termites are fast breeders. Queen termite’s ability to reproduce and build a colony is rapid. Colonies grow exponentially and mature fast. Queen eggs hatch eggs and develop into termites. They turn and develop more before completely turning their position into colony caste.

Termites breed a lot within their lifetime. A typical Queen termite can survive for around a decade reproducing before dying. Weather conditions and optimal wood sources and locations help build the colony. If you ever observe that there are swarms of termites in your home, chances are, they have been rummaging through your wood for months or years at a time.

Trees most prone to termites

Keep these trees into consideration if you’re planning to grow a tree in your garden. You wouldn’t want your tree to become a good starting nest for termites as they migrate towards your home.

The reality is that any tree can be inviting to termites. As wood is their main food source. Trees are wood which makes it a natural food source for the pests. Treat all your trees as a possible breeding ground for termites.

Tree maintenance is essential to protect your tree and home from damaging termite infestations. Missing necessary maintenance checks can lead to more budget blows when termites damage your tree. Termite control is a different cost from saving your tree from dying. Save yourself the trouble from termite infestations.

Trees Down Under is your expert maintenance partner for your trees. You don’t have to make a move before it’s too late to save your tree. We all know that a good tree is beneficial to any home. Don’t share this with damaging pests.

How to Treat Termites in Trees

As termites go through wood, it’s hard to spot them head-on before they destroy some wood in the process. It’s not too late to save your tree. There are various methods and treatments to get rid of termites in the tree in your backyard.

Physical barriers

Apply a physical barrier between the tree and the rest of your garden landscape. Steel mesh and sand perimeters help treat termite infestations at home. Apply this physical barrier around your tree. Build as much as a three feet gap between the tree and the barrier to give space to the tree.

Go a further mile and put a termite-resistant mulch in the area to repel the termites from digging tunnels or travelling. As some mulches like Melaleuca mulch, Cedar mulch, and Eucalyptus mulch are toxic to these pests. A physical barrier and a mulch layer around the soil of the roots can drive away termites from building a nest in your tree. 

Chemical treatments

The most common treatment to get rid of termites are chemical treatments. Many products and pesticides have reagents and active agents that help in disposing of termites. They are usually made specifically for trees. Some treatments are for soil applications to prevent the termites from building nests and colonies in the damp composition.

  • Termiticide products. Use termiticide products to get rid of active termites from growing into a larger population around the tree. There are many approved products in the market for this. Spray some products around the tree base. Some common active ingredients are Acetamiprid, Chlorantraniliprole, and Chlorfenapyr.
  • Termite baits. Set up a termite trap around the tree and wait for the termites to consume. Use wood stake traps for effective trapping. Dispose of them afterwards via controlled fire (only if you have enough experience, don’t do this if you’re not confident enough). For an alternative, use a termiticide to get rid of the termites that are devouring wooden termite trap.
  • Wood treatments. There are products you can apply to wood to coat it. This makes the wood less attractive and sensible to termites since they prefer declining wood or dead wood. Wood treatment like Borates is toxic to them.

Treatment precaution

Some treatments can cause more problems if you don’t apply them properly. Always apply extra precaution and attention when using termiticides and wood treatments. Contaminations of water sources can result from wrong applications of the product. This won’t help in mitigating termites.

Termites go through wood structures and trees quietly. To keep your tree alive and well, it’s best to prevent possible infestations. Termite infestations and breeding in the trees seriously decline the health of the tree. Sick and dying trees are most prone to the infestations and as such, if you’re starting to notice that your tree is not doing well, call Trees Down Under for help.

Conclusion

Termites cause a big problem, especially to first-time tree owners. Be prepared for the big changes and impairment that these little critters can cause. Don’t underestimate the power of these pests. One termite isn’t a big danger, but a colony can go through your tree and home in less time than you expect.

The best way to prepare your home and your tree from possible infestations and destruction is prevention. If you’re in the process of building your homes, plan your areas meticulously beforehand. Preventive measures can also save you a big ton of dollars in contrast to pest control treatments and repair costs from termite damage.

If you're currently undergoing infestation, it’s not too late to get help from pest control and tree experts. Let the professionals handle your problem so the termite colony goes away in no time.

Trees Down Under is available for you around Ryde and Sydney. We offer all sorts of tree services for residential locations to help with your tree maintenance and prevent possible termite infestation. Keep your home and your tree safe from termites. We are here to help you with that.

Do you want a regular pruning for your tree? Do you need a tree trimming service? We offer these services at affordable rates. Your regular tree maintenance should not be a burden to you. Don’t hesitate to contact us!

Call us at 0475 463 597. Send your enquiries and questions here. Book your next tree job here.

25 Most Destructive Garden Pests

by Administrator 0 comments

Gardening Landscaping

Most garden owners dream of their outdoor space with the right mix and style of flowers, shrubs, crops, and trees. Aside from considering their desired plants, they need to give tender, love, and care to each of them for healthy and desirable growth. Plants require water and fertilisers for nutrients and the right type of soil and sunlight for proper development. Moreover, they also need trimming and pruning for maintenance and disease prevention. 

Pests are one of the worries of garden owners. Sometimes, they don’t even know that pests have already infested their plants since most of these unwanted guests spread fast, and are invisible to the naked eyes. 

So that you can understand better, here are the 25 most destructive garden pests that can cause harm to your backyard plants:

  1. Earwigs

Earwigs are brown six-legged insects. They have two antennae, three body divisions, and a pair of forceps on their rear. Depending on the species type, they can grow from 5mm to 25mm. The common misconception about earwigs is that they crawl up then enter one’s ear and eat up brains. Please note that they are harmless to humans. But they can become troublesome pests once they set foot into gardens. 

Depending on their numbers, earwigs can be pests or not. A small population of earwigs can hunt other pests and eat decaying plant matter. But most of the time, they come in large numbers and wipe out seedlings, fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants. 

How to spot earwigs

Earwigs tend to live in a humid and moist environment. They are often under piles of wet leaves, lawn clippings, mulch, and damaged fruits. They are active at night and attracted to lights. During dry periods, they may wander inside the house, especially in the kitchen and basement.

How to get rid of earwigs

  • Set up oil pit traps.
  • Spread out petroleum jelly on plant stems.
  • Sprinkle borax on infested woodpiles.
  • Make an insecticidal spray with ratio 1:1.5 of 70% rubbing alcohol and water, respectively.
  • Put a ring of diatomaceous earth (DE) on the bases of plants.
  1. Curl Grubs

Curl grubs are the larvae of different species of beetles such as African Black Beetle and Christmas Beetle. They have a white or pale cream body, brown head, and greyish end. As their name implies, they have a habit of curling and form “C” most of the time. And they can grow about 2.5cm long.  

Adult beetles lay their eggs in garden soils. As soon as the larvae hatch, they feed on roots and affect the lawn. Curl grub infestation makes the plants demand more water or kill the plants in case of an outbreak. 

How to spot curl grubs

Curl grubs attack on a wide range of plants except for legumes. During warmer days, the new eggs hatch and the older larvae move closer to the surface while feeding heavily on roots. Brown and large dead patches on the lawn are signs of infestation. Moreover, potted plants are more vulnerable as they have limited space for roots. 

How to get rid of curl grubs

  • If exposed, pick them up and feed them to birds.
  • Apply organic insecticides during mid-spring to mid-summer to kill hatching eggs and approaching larvae. 
  • Minimise outdoor lighting to prevent attracting beetles at night. 
  1. Wireworms

Wireworms are one of the most common garden pests in Australia. There are 667 species of true wireworms in the country, mostly spread in cane fields of north, central, and south of Queensland, and New South Wales. They are the first stage of click beetles. Most wireworm larvae have a hard-like body structure, brown, and varying from 13mm to 38mm in length. But some species are also soft and white or yellowish. 

Wireworm usually causes damage at the start of plant development. In particular, they are destructive to corn. But crops such as potatoes, beans, and cabbage are also typical victims. Furthermore, they can also cut small roots or tunnel into the underground portions of the root system.  

How to spot wireworms

Wireworm infestation occurs in moist areas. They require 2 to 6 years in the soil. In those times, they eat on the roots of grasses and plants to complete development. During the dry season, they are hard to locate. They move downward because moisture is barely present on the surface. Moreover, if heavy infestation happens, thin and patchy crops are signs of wireworms in the garden.  

How to get rid of wireworms

  • Put soil insecticides, especially if planting corn.
  • Control grassy weeds.
  • Practice crop rotation to promote soil development and prevent infestation.
  • If there are no other choices, make a soil drench with pyrethrin, a biological insecticide. 
  1. Root Maggots

Root maggots are the larvae of several species of root maggot flies. They are usually white and about 7mm long. Most of their garden victims are root vegetables and crops such as carrots, turnips, cabbage, and broccoli. 

How to spot root maggots

Root maggots are challenging to spot unless they already cause damages such as holes or tunnels in the roots. Moreover, if the plant itself wilt or turn yellow, root maggots are most likely the culprits. During these circumstances, lift the plants from the soil gently and check for root maggots. 

How to get rid of root maggots

  • Spread diatomaceous earth while the plants are still seedlings.
  • Apply pesticides for root maggot control. 
  • Practice crop rotation and remove dead vegetation during fall. 
  • If infestation currently occurs, cut back on the use of organic materials, specifically manure.
  1. Tomato Hornworms

Tomato hornworms are green caterpillars, characterised by V-shaped markings on their abdomen. They can grow from 7cm to 10cm with a slender pointed tip on their tails. They usually cause damage by feeding on leaves and chewing holes on fruits. Too much foliage loss may result in stunting and sunscald. 

How to spot tomato hornworms

Tomato hornworms are dangerous when they are large in numbers. Due to their green colour, they can camouflage well on stems and the foliage. It is best to check the leaves for holes and shreds. Furthermore, they release green substances when they eat. So it is also crucial to check on other plant parts and the ground. 

How to get rid of tomato hornworms

  • Pick them up and squash them together on a cloth or drop them in soapy water. 
  • If uncontrolled, a natural pest control, Bacillus thuringiensis, can solve the problem.  
  1. Scales

Scales are sap-sucking insects that attach themselves to branches, twigs, leaves, and fruits of plants. They are tiny, brown, and oval creatures that are capable of multiplying at a fast rate. They most likely enter into gardens when the temperature is warm and dry. Scales are dangerous as they can suck out nutrients from the plants, affecting their growth and development.  

How to spot scales

Most garden owners identify scales as a disease rather than a pest. But they are not. Honeydews and white powders on the leaves and stems are signs of scale infestation. Furthermore, when the foliage turns yellow and leaves keep on falling, scales may have already multiplied.   

How to get rid of scales

  • If there are only a few of them, pick them out and put them on a cloth. 
  • Prune affected parts and avoid them from making contact with healthy plants. 
  • Gently press a cloth soaked in alcohol to the affected area. 
  • Apply neem oil pesticide when necessary.
  1. Rosemary Beetles

Don’t be fooled by their beautiful appearance. Rosemary beetles are destructive pests, especially for aromatic herbs such as rosemary, lavender, and thyme. They are shiny insects with metallic green backs and purple-bronze stripes. They can grow between 6-8mm long and more active in late spring and late summer. 

How to spot Rosemary beetles

Rosemary beetles often feed on tender tips of herb stems that usually produce a high concentration of camphor. It causes leaves to develop brown and withered edges that distort the growth of affected plants. Always check the underneath of leaves as that’s the spot where they usually lay their eggs. 

How to get rid of Rosemary beetles

  • Look for their eggs and get rid of them using soapy water.
  • If possible, shake Rosemary beetles off from plants and pick them up. Then, drown them in soapy water.
  • Prune damaged branches and twigs.
  • As a last resort, use Pyrethrum-based products to get rid of them. 
  1. Leaf Miners

Leaf miners are the larvae of various insects that feed on upper and lower surfaces of leaves. They appear like worm maggots that are 9mm long with pale yellow or green colour. As their name suggests, they attack mostly on leaves and reduce yields and vigour in most plants. Beans, peppers, ornamental flowers, and citrus trees and shrubs are the most common victims of these destructive garden pests.  

How to spot leaf miners

Leaf miners usually leave traces of white or light green lines on leaves’ surfaces. Sometimes, there can be black stripes at the tunnel edges. On heavily infested plants, there could be 6 or more leaf miner species on a single leaf. They can cause leaves to turn yellow and fall if not remedied immediately. 

How to get rid of leaf miners

  • Examine leaves for white or light green marking lines.
  • Maintain plant health with organic fertilisers and proper watering to prevent leaf miner infestation.
  • Use floating row covers to avoid insects from laying eggs on leaves. 
  • Apply botanical insecticides as a last resort. 
  1. Mealybugs

Mealybugs are destructive pests that suck saps from leaves and stems. They are about 3-7mm long, covered in a layer of white powder. They multiply quickly, which makes them hard to control once they become an outbreak in gardens. Different species prefer different feeding areas. Some suck saps under trunks, while others usually attack fruits, flowers, and seed heads.  

How to spot mealybugs

Mealybugs usually excrete honeydew on leaves and stems, so they are easy to spot. They develop in humid condition and peak their numbers during spring and autumn. Symptoms of mealybug infestation include yellowing of leaves, foliage loss, stunting, and wilting.  

How to get rid of mealybugs

  • Scrap them off manually with a stick.
  • Prune affected plant parts.
  • Spray with a veggie oil-soap mixture to get rid of them.
  • Use parasitics wasps and Ladybirds to feed on mealybugs.
  1. Cutworms

Cutworms are caterpillars of several moth species. They have a plump and smooth-like appearance, and they can grow up to 40mm long. Depending on the type of species, they can be dark grey or light pink in colour. Cutworms can make sharp cuts on stems that may result in their death if ignored.  They feed on a wide variety of plants such as lawn grasses, vegetables, and ornamental flowers. 

How to spot cutworms

If there are scissor cuts on the base of the plants’ stems, cutworms are most likely the culprits. They are tough to see as they usually hide under soil or littered items. Furthermore, they are also prone to stay near the surface of damaged plants. 

How to get rid of cutworms

  • Watch out for disappearing seedlings at the early stage of plants.
  • Avoid pest infestation with proper garden maintenance and care. 
  • Use organic pesticides as much as possible. 
  • If there are no other options, go for synthetic pesticides, but be wary of their effects. 
  1. Psyllids

Psyllids are insects with six legs, two thread-like antennae, and a pair of brown-marked wings. They are commonly known as plant lice due to their tiny size that varies from 2.5mm to 5mm. Like any other sap-sucking insects, they steal the nutrients of host plants and hinder their development.  They usually attack native Australian plants such as lilly pillies, wattles, and eucalypts. 

How to spot psyllids

When there are ants and bugs on plants feeding on a sticky substance called honeydew, psyllids are most likely the root cause. Psyllid infestation also results in foliage loss, leaf discolouration, and mould growth. Outbreaks typically occur during early spring and mid-autumn. 

How to get rid of psyllids

  • Pruning affected plant parts can help, but not effective in the long run. 
  • Applying neem oil in affected segments is more effective. 
  • When there are no other options, use insecticides.  
  1. Weevils

Weevils are beetles that are famous for their elongated snouts. In general, their colours are dark brown to black, and they can grow up to 6mm long with slender and oval-shaped bodies. These destructive little insects can conquer the root system of a healthy plant and eat their way up. Aside from outdoors, they can also infest indoor food such as rice and cereals. 

How to spot weevils

Weevil eggs are hard to locate. And as they mature, they tend to move from outdoor to indoor. You can often find them near food storage or crawling on the walls or windows. They usually invade homes during fall and summer for shelter. On the other hand, they love to eat at night, leaving bite marks on leaf edges and roots. 

How to get rid of weevils

  • It is best to pick them out at night. 
  • As they are attracted to moisture, set up a pan of shallow water outside as bait.
  • Release parasitic beetles that can hunt down weevils.
  • Apply pesticides to leaves or soak the soil with liquid pesticide.
  • Clean up dead plants and avoid too much mulching
  1. Cabbage Loopers

Cabbage loopers are one type of caterpillars that are common as garden pests. As their name suggests, they mostly eat cabbages. But, they also feed on lettuce, kale, and other vegetables. They are about 5cm long, with green bodies and silver or white stripes. 

How to spot cabbage loppers

Cabbage loopers typically hide underneath leaves, and due to their colour, they are hard to spot. Also, don’t underestimate them even if they are slow movers. They have big appetites that make holes in the leaves of plants. Too much foliage attracts diseases and may soon cause death.  

How to get rid of cabbage loopers

  • Manually handpick them and drop them in soapy water.
  • Use row covers during spring to prevent butterflies from laying eggs.
  • Planting flowers such as marigolds and sunflowers attract insects that can kill cabbage loopers.
  • Use insecticides or insecticidal soaps during a heavy infestation, moderately.  
  1. Flea Beetles

Flea beetles are garden pests that endanger many vegetable crops such as turnips, potatoes, spinach and melons. They are small, yet destructive creatures as they chew irregular holes on leaves and result in plant stunting and wilting. 

Most adult flea beetles are 1.5mm to 3mm long, distinguished by their spots and patterns. Also, depending on their species, they can be black, bronze, bluish, or grey. Moreover, they have large back legs that are ideal for jumping, especially when disturbed. 

How to spot flea beetles

Flea beetles are active during spring, but they can also survive the cold months of winter. They hide on leaf litter, hedging plant rows, windbreaks, and wooded areas. Female flea beetles usually lay their eggs on soils and leaves of plants, and occasionally on flowers and trees.

How to get rid of flea beetles

  • Check holes on leaves for possible infestation.
  • Control weeds to limit food sources of flea beetles. 
  • Protect plants with mulch covers.
  • Applying neem oil is a temporary solution to get rid of them.
  • Use pesticides with spinosad or permethrin agents. 
  1. Thrips

Characterised by their small size and flat shape, thrips are dangerous since they require a magnifying glass for detection. They can be 1.5mm to 3mm long, with various possible body colours (brown, black, yellow). Moreover, they carry viruses, mainly of the genus Tospovirus that causes significant crop loss. 

How to spot thrips

After feeding on garden plants and crops, thrips leave white patches, mostly visible on leaves. It is also their way of spreading the viruses they carry. Other signs of infestation include bacterial leaf streaks and silvery specklings. 

How to get rid of thrips

  • Place a cloth underneath an infested plant and shake the branches to remove thrips. 
  • Spray neem oil and insecticidal cleansers. 
  • Pruning affected areas are helpful as well. 
  • Dust the underneath of leaves with diatomaceous earth. 
  1. Bagworm Moths

Bagworm moths are harmless to humans but can become nuisance pests in gardens. They are about 3cm long and colour brown to grey with patterns on their wings. However, female bagworm moths don’t have wings and legs, which makes them appear like worms. 

In general, they feed on evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs. Severe infestation causes defoliation, especially on juniper and arborvitae trees.  

How to spot bagworm moths

Bagworm moths usually make trees their shelter. Meaning, they also incline to lay their eggs on backyard trees. As soon as these eggs become larvae, they crawl to surrounding plants and leave their bags on the hosts. Some species also produce silk threads. Furthermore, severe defoliation is also a sign of infestation, as mentioned earlier. 

How to get rid of bagworm moths

  • Handpick bagworm moths and put them on soapy water or seal them in bags. 
  • Remove green waste and dead branches in the lawn. 
  • Apply insecticides to areas with their larvae. 
  1. Spider Mites

Spider mites are not insects but arachnids. They are pale or reddish-brown, oval-shaped, and about 0.5mm long. Moreover, they have two dark spots on each side of their body. Mites live in colonies and attack almost all kinds of plants. They pierce leaf tissues and suck fluids for nutrients. 

How to spot spider mites

Spider mites most likely survive in hot and dry conditions. They also come in large numbers. So once they have infested gardens, plant owners need immediate solutions. As mentioned, they usually stick to the undersides of leaves. Furthermore, leaf discolouration and dropping, and fine webbing are signs of spider mites outbreak. 

How to get rid of spider mites

  • Prune leaves, stems, and other infected plant parts. 
  • Use a bug blaster that maximises a high pressure of water to remove spider mites. 
  • Apply horticultural oil on fruit trees in early or late fall to kill their eggs.
  • Spray biological or commercial insecticide as a last resort. 
  1. Whiteflies

Whiteflies are small sap-sucking insects with two pairs of rounded wings covered with a white waxy powder. They grow up to 1.5mm long and are often near the top of the leaves and end of stems. Moreover, they are active during the day and will fly out when disturbed. 

They like to sap nutrients from trees and eat on leaves. Ornamental flowers and warm-weather vegetables are the usual victims of whitefly infestation. 

How to spot whiteflies

As whiteflies suck on plant juices, they cause leaf discolouration, and in severe cases, leaf drop. Moreover, sooty mould grows on the honeydew, leaving black marks on the leaves. Whiteflies are more visible in mid to late summer as the condition is humid and warm.  

How to get rid of whiteflies

  • They prefer newly unfurled leaves, so check on them first. 
  • Blast whiteflies with a water hose or spray, strong enough to get rid of them. 
  • Consider spraying leaves with insecticidal soap.
  • Use commercial insecticides when all else fails.  
  1. Aphids

Aphids are small white bugs that are one of the most common destructive pests in gardens. They are about 6mm long with a pear-shaped body and a pair of long antennae. Most garden owners worry about aphids as they multiply fast and survive any weather conditions. 

They can attack various kinds of plants, but prefer beans, potatoes, and other vegetable crops. Moreover, they infect almost all parts of trees, shrubs, and plants, depending on the type of species. 

How to spot aphids

Dull or changed colour of leaves may mean aphids already infested the plants in question. Turning leaves over can verify if they are present. Moreover, sticky substance on stems or other parts can be a residue left by aphids. Check for honeydews on plants and the ground, or look if other insects are feasting on them. Furthermore, honeydews promote fungal infection, so it is best to get rid of aphids as soon as possible. 

How to get rid of aphids

  • Spray cold water on infected leaves or apply a water pressure for better results. 
  • Pour flour on plants to reduce pests’ footing.
  • Place garlic near ornamentals, shrubs, and trees to repel aphids.
  • Mix a litre of water, a teaspoon of dish soap, and a pinch of cayenne powder. Then, spray them on infected leaves. 
  • Check this article on how to prevent aphid growth in your orchard.
  1. Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles are about 100mm long with metallic green bodies and brown wing covers. They are also one of the most common garden pests as they eat almost everything on plants. They usually feed in groups starting at the top and work on their way down. 

How to spot Japanese beetles

Japanese beetles appear on warm and sunny days. They also prefer plants located in direct sunlight. Group feeding results in foliage loss and most trees appear like victims of scorch fires. Furthermore, they like to consume rose petals and leaves with delicate veins. 

How to get rid of Japanese beetles

  • Use mulch covers during the peak season of Japanese beetles.
  • Spray castor oil soap as a remedy.
  • Treat soil with Bacillus thuringiensis to prevent infestation.
  1. Slugs

Slugs are soft-bodied molluscs. But, unlike snails, they don’t have hard shells on their back. Most slugs are grey, dark-orange, and brown, and they grow from 2cm to 8cm long. Even though they are slow movers, they are capable of wiping out an entire crop in a matter of days. They like to eat vegetable-producing plants and also attack most leaves and seedlings.   

How to spot slugs

Slugs usually hide in moist areas such as under rocks, mulch, heaps, and pots. Furthermore, they are more active at night and wander the garden when light is low. Holes in fruits and leaves are signs of slug infestation. 

How to get rid of slugs

  • If you want, invite slug predators such as chicken and ducks in your garden. 
  • Spray beer or alcohol to kill them.
  • Block them with sand, copper wire, or tapes. 
  • Trim long grasses and weeds as these invite slugs.
  1. Possums

Possums are one of the most common marsupials native to Australia. They are highly adapted to living near humans, so they don’t have a problem visiting residential gardens. They feed on leaves, flowers, buds, and fruits. If ignored, they can infiltrate in large numbers and damage outdoor spaces.  

How to spot possums

Possums are nocturnal. They tend to visit at night, rummaging garden plants and garbage bins. It is best to shoo them before they multiply and invite other companions. 

How to get rid of possums

  • Use possum repellents or activate an automated water sprinkling system to startle them. 
  • Set traps, but don’t kill them as they are under a protective program. 
  • Build fences as a defence. 
  • Check this article on how to make a possum proof garden. 
  1. Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers are green insects, known for their leaping ability. They have robust bodies and relatively short antennae. As they are light and fast, they are hard to catch. Grasshoppers usually defoliate everything in sight but prefer young green plants. 

How to spot grasshoppers

Vegetables and crops such as beans, corns, and carrots are the usual victims of grasshoppers. Meanwhile, squash and tomatoes are their least favourite. Grasshopper infestation usually happens in the starting weeks of summer right after weeds dry up. Their marks are pretty evident as they leave large bites on leaves and flowers. 

How to get rid of grasshoppers

  • When numbers are low, handpick grasshoppers and squash them.
  • Put floating row covers for protection.
  • Apply hot pepper wax spray, which is available in the market. 
  1. Fire Ants

Fire ants are not only dangerous to plants but humans as well. If bothered, they inflict painful bites and stings. With their darkish-brown appearance and tiny size, they are usually hard to spot in the garden. They can damage vegetable crops such as potatoes and okra, and eat up seedlings of corn and cucumber.  

How to spot fire ants

Presence of mounds is enough evidence for their existence. Moreover, they tend to move as a group, climbing on trees and plants. Also, when there is sugar, ants will most likely show up. It is essential to check for fire ants to avoid stings when tending on trees, shrubs, or ornamentals. 

How to get rid of fire ants

  • Set up a fire ant bait containing methoprene or spinosad as an active ingredient.
  • Use liquid drench to eliminate their mounds in the garden. 
  • Apply granular insecticides before planting. 
  1. Rodents

Aside from insects, creatures like rodents pose a threat to your backyard. As rodents look for food, water, and shelter, gardens are an ideal spot for their survival. They can colonise compost pits, ornamentals, and vegetations. If ignored, they may soon infiltrate houses. 

How to spot rodents

Rodents often dig up tunnels on soil with a small entrance and exit hole. These are their passageway to feed on their food, possibly crops in the garden. They also create mounds to mark their burrows. One noticeable sign of rodents is their excrement that looks like black grains of rice.

How to get rid of rodents

  • Remove mounds to shoo rodents away. 
  • Eliminate grubs to uninvite rodents into the garden. 
  • Make sure to clean and sanitise the outdoors.
  • Seal holes that can be their possible entrance.
  • Build fences, especially for plants that require essential care.  

Conclusion

If you are a garden owner or a caretaker, you need to make sure that your plants receive the utmost care if you want them to grow healthy and strong. One effective way to do that is by preventing garden pest infestations. With the 25 most destructive garden pests presented here and their corresponding cure and prevention, the responsibility now lies in your hands. And if you need expert care and advice, Trees Down Under is 24/7 on alert to give bespoke and quality garden services. 

Our team of professional and reliable gardeners offer plant and tree treatments to avoid pest infestations. Your garden is in good hands as we make sure that the products we use don’t interfere with your plants’ growth and development. Aside from treatments, we also conduct trimming, pruning, and mulching services for the well-being and safety of your backyard space. 

Since 2005, we are providing bespoke yet affordable residential tree services , commercial tree services, and industrial tree services in Sydney. We are the number one tree and garden service provider no matter where you are in Sydney. After your call, we will make sure to dispatch the best and brightest team, fully geared up with the right tools and protective equipment. 

So, solve your garden pest problems with Trees Down Under now! Contact us at 0475 463 597, or send us a message through email

5 Australian Trees That Need No Maintenance

by Administrator 0 comments

Gardening Landscaping Tree Removal

Planting trees in your lawn can increase your property’s value and decrease your energy bills. They offer a picturesque view and shade to protect you and your family for warmer and colder months. Moreover, since Australia often suffers from bushfires, the local councils urge residents to plant trees within their backyard. In this way, they can counter the carbon dioxide emission, especially in urbanised areas. 

However, most Australians don’t have the time to take care of trees within their garden. Tree care is essential to develop and maintain healthy growth. Thus, choosing trees that need no or little maintenance is the right option. 

Are you wondering what trees are perfect for your garden layout? Here are 5 examples of Australian trees that need no  or little maintenance:

Acacia Trees

Acacia, or commonly known as Wattles, is the largest genus of vascular plants in Australia. About 1000 acacia species are across the country’s forests with 9.8 million hectares or 8% of the total forest area.  

They vary from low-growing species to larger shrubs and trees. Acacia trees are perfect for garden spaces as they bloom colourful foliage and provide shade. Due to its rigid structure that is highly resistant to moisture loss, garden owners choose to plant them in their backyard. In spring, they bloom yellow puffball flowers with a sweet aroma. 

Furthermore, Acacia evergreen species, such as Bower Wattle, can withstand severe temperature changes without losing their leaves throughout the year. It is one one the most low-maintenance and drought-resistant trees sought in the garden community. 

Grevillea

Grevillea is another evergreen flowering plant that ranges from shrubs to trees. A grevillea tree can grow up to 35m tall, ideal for shading and privacy purposes. It is one of the sought plants for garden owners because it is self-sufficient and has unique spider-like flowers. Furthermore, thanks to its nectar-rich flowers, it invites bees, butterflies, and birds in your outdoor space.   

Grevillea’s perfect location is in a sunny position with well-drained soil. It grows more healthy with deep watering, which penetrates the topsoil 20cm below its surface. 

Lilly Pilly

Lilly pilly, or also known as Australian cherry, is a common hedging plant in Australia. It is ideal for marking boundaries and giving your property some privacy since it grows up to 30m tall. Moreover, it usually has thick foliage with a glossy sheen, and it also grows edible berries. These attract birds and passersby as their colourful flowers and appearance are truly eye-catching. 

As an evergreen, Lilly Pilles can withstand season changes without dropping their leaves. Planting them in moist and fertile soil is the best choice, but they can also survive in drought, full shade, frosts, sandy soil, and coastal conditions.    

Coast Banksia

Another Australian evergreen native is Coast Banksia. Coast Banksia trees can grow 25m-30m tall and usually have stouts, irregular trunks, and low branches. Furthermore, they have distinctive elongated flower spikes and jagged leaves. As these flower spikes age, they transform to large woody cones with grey colour. 

Coast Banksia is best to thrive in sandy soils. But, some species can grow in dry condition, heavier soils, rainforests, and coastal areas. Also, it usually survives during winter and areas with annual rainfall less than 200 millimetres. 

Grass Trees

Grass trees are iconic plants for most Australians, especially for garden enthusiasts. They are perennials that can grow from 1m to 6m tall. Their growth rate is about 1cm/year, which makes them low maintenance. It takes about 20 years before they bloom flowers. They are well-known for their charcoal trunk and flower spikes that can extend up to 4m long. 

In case of fire incidents, grass trees can quickly recover, thanks to their starch storage. Also, they produce nectars that serve as food for insects and birds. If you choose to plant them, time and patience are crucial factors as they are slow-growing trees.

Conclusion 

As a garden owner, there is nothing more satisfying than to have a visually appealing garden. Planting trees can give aesthetics and privacy to one’s property. However, maintaining them through regular pruning and trimming can be quite a hassle. Fortunately, you can choose from the 5 Australian trees presented through this article to save time and effort from maintenance.

And if you need professional advice, Trees Down Under is your trusted partner! Our team of expert arborists and gardeners offer bespoke tree and garden services to answer your problems. We also understand that tree and plant maintenance can be quite challenging. So instead of avoiding high-maintenance plants, you can always seek help from us. 

We conduct excellent pruning, stump grinding, tree removal, and green waste disposal services at the most affordable prices. After your call, we will be at your doorsteps, equipped with the right tools and devices at the earliest time possible.

So, maintain the beauty of your garden with Trees Down Under! Contact us at 0475 463 597, or send us a message via email.  

10 Things to Remember When Trimming Your Trees

by Administrator 0 comments

Gardening Landscaping Tree Removal

Besides giving shade to your property, planting trees in your backyard takes away pollutants and gives fresh air. Just a fun fact, a single mature tree is enough to provide oxygen to four people. So planting them in a highly urbanised city is beneficial for the residents. Furthermore, trees are the perfect solution to increase privacy and provide a visually appealing garden layout.

However, just like other plants, trees need care and maintenance. Specifically, trimming them is essential for healthy growth, and to avoid accidents from falling branches. So, if you are a garden owner, here are the 10 things to remember when trimming your trees:

  1. Inspect Your Tree

Tree garden owners often neglect the state of their tree. Unknowingly, diseases and pest infestations already penetrate the tree trunk. If ignored, they can be a falling hazard and cause property damages and accidents. Trimming trees is one of the solutions to keep them healthy.  To spot tree diseases, you can look for these signs:

  • Vertical cracks and seams on the trunk
  • Discolouration and deformation of leaves
  • Seeping fluid
  • Peeling bark
  • Reduced foliage
  • Presence of termites
  • Changes on the soil around the tree

It is best to call for emergency arborists for a full tree checkup, and they might provide solutions right away.  

  1. Equip Right Tools and Machines

You cannot trim a tree with just scissors. Tree trimming requires cutting off branches, twigs, and leaves. Thus, you need the right tools and equipment, such as shears, pruners, and loppers, to finish the task. Moreover, it is vital to have a ladder for climbing and safety gears for protection. 

Also, note that low quality and unsanitised tools can bring diseases on trees. They can be bearers of infectious fungi and bacteria. Meanwhile, improper cutting from unpolished and low-quality tools results in rough marks and wounds that attract tree diseases. 

  1. Get Necessary Permits

Local councils don’t permit irresponsible cutting of trees or their parts. So, depending on the kind of work, you need to get necessary permits. Different cities have different regulations. For Sydney, you can check their tree pruning and removal guidelines here

  1. Remove Dead Tree Parts

Trimming trees is not only limited to their foliage. It also involves cutting unwanted and dead branches and twigs. Fungi and bacteria are attracted to them. Moreover, they can potentially fall in your property and cause harm to you, your family, or passersby. 

To remove dead limbs and twigs safely, cut them not more than 6mm from the bud to prevent dieback. However, large branches need more than one cut. For the first cut, make a partial cut on the bottom part, a few millimetres away from the branch origin. Then, make a second cut on top, few millimetres away from the first cut. After that, the branch will freely fall. 

  1. Avoid Improper Trimming Cuts

Trimming too close to the trunk or branch produces a flush cut. It destroys the trees natural defence mechanisms that lead to wound compartmentalisation and callus formation.  

On the other hand, trimming too far from a branch can leave a dead part on the tree. It invites disease organisms and becomes a passageway to enter the trunk, affecting the tree as a whole. Eventually, it could lead to decay or death of the tree.   

  1. Trim Depending on the Age of Trees

The trimming volume for trees depends on their age. Young trees can lose 25% of their overall foliage. Meanwhile, mature trees can only withstand 15% of their foliage removed. As young trees have more energy and strength for recovery, that is not the case for old ones. 

Trimming more than 15% of a mature tree’s foliage will lessen food and nutrient production within its system. Moreover, if mature trees get sick, losing their foliage may eventually lead to their death. 

  1. Trim Trees at the Right Time

For more efficient growth, trimming trees at the right time is crucial. In particular, evergreen trees that don’t drop their leaves during autumn need shaving during their dormant season. 

The perfect season for tree trimming is during late winter to early spring because of the following reasons:

  • Wounds heal faster.
  • There are lesser risks for pest infestations and diseases.
  • Sap flowing is not an issue. 
  • Effortless to trim as leaves are gone for deciduous trees
  1. Avoid Applying Dressing to Wounds

In case trimming produces wounds, some recommend applying a dressing to them. They claim that it prevents decay, speeds up healing, and enhances the appearance of the cut. But in reality, they hinder healing and invite rot organisms and pest infestations. So from now on, it is best to avoid putting dressing on tree wounds. 

  1. Clean Debris and Green Waste Right Away

After trimming, remember to clean tree debris and green waste right away. These can become tripping hazards and cause accidents. Furthermore, leaving them for several days in the backyard can invite pests and rodents. These are threats to human health and the community’s sanitation system. 

Also, note that local council pickups don’t collect green wastes thicker than 10cm and more massive than 100kg. So if you need an immediate solution, Trees Down Under Green Waste Removal is just one call away.  

  1. Be in Touch with an Expert

Let’s be honest. Most garden owners don’t know the right procedures for tree trimming. Most of the time, they create more harm than good. Thus, getting in touch with expert arborists is crucial to maintain and keep your backyard trees healthy. From trivial methods of foliage trimming to extensive tasks such as chopping large and heavy branches, they have the right tools and equipment. 

Conclusion 

Tree trimming is essential to keep backyard trees healthy and prevent diseases and pest infestations. Always remember the 10 things related to tree trimming presented through this article. And if you ever need a backup, Trees Down Under is your one call away partner. 

We have a team of professional arborists, landscapers, and gardeners who can give bespoke solutions to your tree and lawn problems. With more than 30 years of experience, we are the best tree service provider here in Sydney. 

After your call, we make sure to dispatch a reliable and service-oriented team of experts for quality and efficient services. Equipped with the right tools and machines, we promise to do the job without mistakes!

We are available 24/7 for tree trimming and other garden services. Contact us at 0475 463 597, or send us a message via email

5 Biggest Mistakes Homeowners Do When Trimming Their Trees

by Administrator 0 comments

Gardening Landscaping Tree Removal

Garden owners dream of their perfect outdoor space. A large field of grass with blooming colourful flowers and towering trees. Undoubtedly, children and pets would love to play and run around the area. And at night, it is an excellent hotspot for relaxation and calmness. 

Furthermore, most homeowners invest in planting trees to provide aesthetics, shade, fresh air, and hedges for their property. To achieve these benefits, proper tree care is essential. However, some garden owners don’t even know how to trim their trees the right way. Aside from sprucing up the layout of the lawn, proper trimming makes trees safer and more stable.

So that you can further understand and avoid improper tree care, here are the 5 biggest mistakes homeowners do when trimming their trees:

Mistake #1: Trimming at the Wrong Time

The right timing will always come. That is also the case for trimming your trees in the backyard. In general, most homeowners wait for the leaves to grow thick and obstruct other trees before removing them. Furthermore, dead and diseased branches are problems that need immediate removal. During those times, trimming might be necessary. But the best time to trim is during the trees' dormant season. 

Trimming trees in late fall to late winter will make them grow healthy for the coming spring. Note that cutting branches off in warmer months may attract pests and damage trees altogether. Also, over trimming will make them more susceptible to diseases. Mature trees need trimming at least once every 3-5 years while younger trees require once every 2-3 years.  

Moreover, trees that act as hedges require trimming to maintain their form and foliage. Check out when is the best time to do hedge trimming through this article.        

Mistake #2: Improper Cutting Techniques

In cutting unwanted and dead branches, proper techniques are essential to prevent wounds. They minimise damages done on the tree and allow it to heal faster. Note that improper cuts can cause irreversible harms and may lead to the tree’s death. Here are two examples of unacceptable tree cuts:

Flush Cut

It is the method of cutting too close to the trunk or branch. According to Iowa State University’s Horticulture department, it weakens the natural defence mechanisms of trees. That leads to wound compartmentalisation and callus formation. So, when trimming, make the final cut just beyond the branch collar and branch bark ridge to avoid a flush cut. 

Stub Cut 

Opposite to flush cut, stub cut means cutting too far from the trunk or branch. The dying stub invites disease organisms and becomes a pathway for them to enter the tree trunk. Eventually, this would lead to the tree’s decay. To avoid a stub cut, make sure to retain the bark branch ridge, and the branch collar is intact. 

Mistake #3: Using Dull and Unsanitised Tools

Cutting off tree parts is not as easy as it seems. Aside from it being a heavy task, you also need the right equipment to prevent any harm. Dull tools can potentially strain the tree and leave jagged cuts. These produce open wounds that affect their growth and well-being. Furthermore, using unsanitised and dirty tools can spread bacteria and fungi across the tree. 

Thus, check first if you have the right tools and equipment for proper tree trimming. For safety, it is best to contact a tree service provider

Mistake #4: Trimming Any Branch

While it is necessary to cut dead and diseased branches, that is not the case for unwanted ones. Sometimes, you might want to remove the hanging branches under your home’s roof. However, considering these following factors is crucial:

  • How much of the branch to trim
  • Which branches need trimming
  • How to make the angle of the cut depending on its surrounding 

Improper trimming can affect the overall health of the tree. It is best to call for tree service providers like Trees Down Under assess the situation and provide the right solution. 

Mistake #5: Not Getting a Professional’s Help

Tree trimming is different from plant trimming. It requires the right knowledge and proper techniques to keep trees healthy and avoid accidents as well. Sharp tools, ladders, and falling branches are risks that you need to face, carefully. 

Moreover, if you want to maintain a visually appealing garden with trees, getting a professional will benefit you in the long run. Thus, getting help from expert arborists and gardeners is the best choice to make. 

Conclusion

Tree trimming requires in-depth knowledge and the right equipment and tools to do the job accurately. Presented with the 5 biggest mistakes homeowners do when trimming their trees, your safety should be your number one concern. That’s why Trees Down Under is 24/7 ready to attend to your trimming and garden needs. 

Our staff consists of expert arborists, landscapers, and gardeners who have studied and trained for years to bring unrivalled garden and tree services. We have developed excellent and efficient methodologies to fulfil our clients’ concerns. Since 2005, we are providing bespoke yet affordable residential tree services , commercial tree services, and industrial tree services in Sydney. 

So, Trees Down Under is the right partner for your trimming and other garden services. Contact us now at 0475 463 597, or send us a message via email.  

The Dangers of Planting Trees in Your Home

by Administrator 0 comments

Gardening Landscaping Tree Removal

Along with a great landscape design, planting trees can help enhance the overall appearance of your garden. With their green foliage and colourful flowers, passersby will undoubtedly turn their heads in admiration. Furthermore, trees that form a row can serve as hedging plants to provide security and privacy in your property. They can mark the boundary of your place and give you a breath of fresh air as well. 

Flipping on the other side of the coin, planting trees can also put your home in danger. Thus, careful planning is essential to protect you, your family, and the neighbourhood’s safety. Do you know the threats of planting trees in your garden? If not, Trees Down Under is here to discuss them, comprehensively. 

Falling Hazard

Falling trees are one of the worries of garden owners in creating their ideal lawn. 

As they grow taller than your house, they are threats when heavy winds come, or a car accident happens. Based on research, tree trunks break at 145 km/hr critical wind speed, regardless of their size or species type. Meaning, a category two storm or higher can knock down nearby trees in your area if they’re not cyclone-prepared or felled immediately. 

Tree pruning removes unwanted and diseased branches and twigs. As dead tree parts are fall risks, pruning them is the best option as you don’t have to remove the tree itself. But, when you cannot control their growth anymore, it is best to consider tree felling.

Fire Risk

Trees are fire spreaders. Bushfires in Australia are evidence of how trees are dangerous once they get caught in fires. It can result in property losses and damages or worse, deaths. It is best to have enough space between the house and the trees for safety. In general, 5 to 10 metres are ideal, given that there are no combustible materials near the trees.  

But, tree spacing requires professional knowledge. Aside from fire clearance, you need to account tree shading, maximum growth, and overall aesthetics. Asking for assistance from garden professionals will help you decide what’s best for your trees.  

Penetrates Foundation

Tree roots can be culprits in damaging soil and concrete foundations in your home. They can crawl on concrete cracks and diminish its strength that may lead to its failure. Moreover, large roots can extend beneath a house and cause foundation uplift. Or they can leech water from the soil of foundations, causing the building to settle and sink unevenly. 

Clogs Water Drainage

Trees usually fall off their leaves when medium to heavy winds come. Especially during autumn, deciduous trees lose their foliage and prepare to rest for winter. Their dropped leaves end up in your backyard, streets, creeks, and rivers. They can clog waterways and the drainage system when accumulated. 

Thus, a responsible garden owner should know how to take care of their green waste. So, every time leaves start to pile up, clean them and make sure they avoid drainage as much as possible. If you’re busy, Trees Down Under’s green waste removal service is just a call away. 

Houses Insects

While flowering plants invite butterflies, trees also lead other animals in your home. However, they might bring you more harm than good. Presence of rodents and pests is a health hazard as they carry bacteria and viruses. Furthermore, bees and wasps may settle in your tree and sting you, your family, and passersby. 

Don’t hesitate to ask for tree fellers if you want to remove your trees. Or you can actually design your home lawn with plants that repel insects, bugs, and rodents. 

Conclusion

Most garden owners invest in trees for aesthetics, privacy, and breath of fresh air. But, as they grow usually taller than houses, planting trees pose dangers in your home. They can fall unexpectedly, spread fires, damage foundations, block drainage, and house insects. Luckily, you can avoid these threats if you partner with Trees Down Under!

Our team of expert arborists and landscapers provide bespoke and top-rate tree services for all of your tree problems. We equip ourselves with the right gears and tools to bring safe and efficient methodologies. Moreover, we always follow the local council regulations and obtain necessary permits for hassle-free lawn services. 

At the soonest time possible, expect our friendly staff to be at your doorsteps. Don’t hesitate to call us since we are available 24/7! Contact us at 0475 463 597, or send us a message through email

Call Us Now

0475 463 597

!COVID19 Update: We are still operating 7 days per week, providing emergency residential and commercial tree services across Sydney. All on-site staff strictly follow NSW's best health guidelines.

X