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Making a hole in a tree is okay? Or does it damages the tree?

Making a hole in a tree is okay? Or does it damages the tree?



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I am watching a TV series named "Treehouse Masters." What they do is make houses on trees or around it getting physical support from a big strong tree, like this:

But to make the support strong, they make a big hole in the trunk of a tree

Then they put a steel beam into it, like this:

In some cases, they make more than one hole. So, does this affect the tree in any way?

If anyone makes a hole that big or even bigger but doesn't fill it with any other thing(like the beam), will the tree heal itself?

I have heard that trunk is the most important part of a tree. So I am curious to know if this act is cruel towards the trees or not.


It can have a negative effect if parasites are able to take advantage of the holes in the tree.The bark is the first line of defense against parasites and making holes without covering them tend to have a negative effect.Furthermore, the bark also protects the plants against adverse weather conditions.


Can These Trees Be Saved?

Featured eBook: Tree Care Kit

A storm can leave trees looking like there is no tomorrow. Major limbs may be broken or damaged, foliage can be shredded or stripped, or the bark may be torn or gouged. But what at first glance may look like mortal wounds are not necessarily fatal to a tree. Trees have an amazing ability to recover from storm damage.

First, Assess the Damage

Before writing off a damaged tree as a “goner,” homeowners should evaluate their trees by asking the following questions:

  • Other than the storm damage, is the tree basically healthy and vigorous? If the tree is basically healthy, is not creating a hazard, and did not suffer major structural damage, it will generally recover if first aid measures are applied immediately after the storm.
  • Are major limbs broken? The larger a broken limb is, the harder it will be for the tree to recover from the damage. If most of the main branches are gone, the tree may have little chance of surviving.
  • Has the leader (the main upward-trending branch on most trees) been lost? In species where a leader is important to upward growth or a desirable appearance, saving the tree may have to be a judgment call. The tree may live without its leader, but at best it would be a stunted or deformed version of the original.
  • Is at least 50 percent of the tree’s crown (branches and leaves) still intact? This is a good rule of thumb on tree survivability. A tree with less than half of its branches remaining may not be able to produce enough foliage to nourish the tree through another season.
  • How big are the wounds where branches have been broken or bark has been damaged? The larger the wound is in relation to the size of the limb, the less likely it is to heal, leaving the tree vulnerable to disease and pests. A 2- to 3-inch wound on a 12-inch diameter limb will seal over with new bark within a couple of years.
  • Are there remaining branches that can form a new branch structure? The remaining limbs will grow more vigorously as the tree tries to replace its missing foliage. Look to see if there are branches that can eventually fill out the tree’s appearance.
  • Is the tree of a desirable species for its location? If the tree is in the wrong location (such as a potentially tall tree beneath a power line), or is an undesirable species for the property (messy fruit, etc.), it may be best to remove it if it has serious damage.

Then, Make the Decision

In general, the answer as to what to do about a particular tree will fall into one of three categories:

    It’s a Keeper

If a valuable tree appears to be a borderline case, resist the temptation to simply cut the tree down and be done with it. It may be best to stand back for a while and think it over. Remember that time is on your side. After careful pruning of broken branches, give the tree some time to recover. A final decision can be made later.An Easy Call : A mature shade tree can usually survive the loss of one major limb. The broken branch should be pruned back to the trunk. In the months that follow, large wounds should be closely monitored for signs of decay.

Minor Damage: Although the tree has been damaged, enough strong limbs may remain on a basically healthy tree to make saving it possible.

Too Young to Die: Young trees can sustain quite a bit of damage and still recover quickly. If the leader is intact and the structure for future branching remains, remove the damaged limbs and allow the tree to recover.

Easy Does It: Resist the temptation to prune too heavily. Remember that the tree will need all the foliage it can produce in order to make it through the next growing season. Remove only the damaged limbs, then wait and see what happens.

Some trees simply can’t be saved or are not worth saving. If the tree has already been weakened by disease, if the trunk is split, or if more than 50 percent of the crown is gone, the tree has lost its survival edge.Don’t Try to Do It All Alone: Some of your trees may have damage that’s too close to call, or they may have hidden damage. If that is the case, you’ll need a tree professional to help you decide what to do. Don’t hire just anyone who shows up at your door after a storm. Look for qualified arborists in the phone book or by contacting your state or city forester.

Tree Tragedy: This otherwise healthy young tree has lost too much of its crown-the leafy head that is vital for survival. It will probably not be able to grow enough new branches and leaves to provide needed nourishment, and will never be able to regain its former beautiful shape.

Hopeless Case: About all that’s left of this tree is its trunk. The few remaining branches can’t provide enough foliage to enable the tree to make it through another growing season.


What the law says about downed trees and more

Editors Note: The information in this column is not intended as legal advice but to provide a general understanding of the law. Readers with legal problems, including those whose questions are addressed here, should consult attorneys for advice on their particular circumstances.

Hurricane Rita questions

Q: Hurricane Rita caused my neighbor's giant oak tree to fall into my backyard. It knocked down a large section of my fence and smashed our swing set. Can I make my neighbor pay for the repairs to the fence and the replacement cost of the swing set?

A: If the oak tree had been healthy before the approach of Hurricane Rita, and instead it was the high winds associated with the storm that caused it to fall over and damage your property, then you cannot hold your neighbor liable.

However, if your neighbor's tree was decayed, diseased, dead or in an otherwise dangerous condition before Rita, then you can hold him liable for the damages. In that case, the tree would have posed an unreasonable risk of harm, and he would have had a duty to trim the branches or remove the tree altogether before the storm to prevent it from falling over.

Regardless, either your or your neighbor's homeowners insurance policy should cover the damages, less any deductible.

Q: A few days ago during Hurricane Rita, the fence that separates my backyard from my neighbor's yard was completely blown over and destroyed. It needs to be hauled away and replaced. I suspect it will cost several thousand dollars to put up a new fence in its place. I spoke to my neighbor and offered to pay half, but he says he doesn't have any money to pay for it. Whose responsibility is it to buy a new fence?

A: Texas has no laws that require adjoining landowners to share the costs associated with maintaining and replacing fences.

However, your neighborhood may have deed restrictions or other rules and ordinances that apply to the repair and replacement of fences. You may want to do a little research before you proceed.

If you find there are no restrictions or other rules in your neighborhood, and if you were to pay for the removal and replacement costs yourself, you may have a claim against your neighbor for reimbursement because both of you benefit from the fence. However, most people aren't interested in suing their neighbors, especially given the low odds of winning this kind of lawsuit.

You should try talking to your neighbor again, and if the two of you still can't come to an agreement, then you may have no option but to pay for the repairs yourself.

Q: Hurricane Rita blew down my backyard fence. My neighbor has informed me he's going to hire a company to fix the fence and then send me a bill for half the cost. I don't care if there's a fence between the properties, and I don't want to pay for any portion of it. Am I obligated to pay?

As mentioned in the previous answer, Texas doesn't have fence laws requiring you to pay for any portion of the repair cost. However, because you may benefit from his repairs to the fence, you may find yourself in court defending against a claim for reimbursement by your neighbor. It is not clear if he would prevail.

Importantly, you may live in a community with a deed restriction or in a city with an ordinance that requires you to share in the cost of the repairs. So before you refuse to pay his bill, you may want to make sure you're not obligated to pay half.

Q: Hurricane Rita damaged the small apartment complex where I live. I was lucky because my unit was fine, but several others are basically unlivable. My landlord has given me notice that I have a month to vacate because he is terminating my lease to fix the whole building. Can he do that even though my apartment is fine?

A: He probably can. When an apartment is damaged by a hurricane, thereby rendering it totally unusable, the landlord has the right to terminate the lease. In such a case, the tenant is only entitled to a pro rata refund of prepaid rent and all or a portion of the security deposit.

Your landlord must think the damage to the affected apartments is so substantial that in order to repair them, he must repair the other apartments as well. If all of the apartments use the same electrical, sewer, phone, cable and gas lines, and if these systems need to be repaired or replaced, it would seem your landlord would be justified in his actions.

Even though you are being inconvenienced by having to move out, your landlord can't be too happy about having to find new tenants to occupy the vacant apartments once the repairs are complete.

Also, if you have a written lease, it may address what happens in the event of a catastrophic event like a hurricane, so you should read your lease to see if it applies.

Is my neighbor liable for damage to my house from his tree?

Q. During Tropical Storm Allison, a very large, old tree on my neighbor's yard fell over onto my property and knocked a large hole in the roof of my garage. The tree just came up out of the ground during the flood and fell over. Is my neighbor liable for the damage, or is it my problem?

A. If your neighbor knew the tree was diseased, decayed, dead or in an otherwise dangerous condition prior to the storm, then he can be held liable for the damages.

It sounds like your neighbor's tree was not a particularly healthy tree. If the tree did pose an unreasonable risk of harm to your property, then your neighbor should have either had the tree removed before the storm or taken some other steps to prevent it from falling over during the storm.

If the tree was unhealthy, your neighbor's insurance carrier should pay for the damages. On the other hand, if the tree was healthy, and the only reason it fell over was because of the flooding, then your neighbor will not be liable. Instead, liability for the repairs will rest in your hands.

Fortunately, though, your homeowners' insurance policy will likely cover the damages.

Can I legally cut my neighbor's tree limbs?

Q: Our neighbor's tree limbs hang over our roof and are causing damage. Can we cut the tree limbs without his permission?

A: Yes, you can. But be careful. If you kill the tree, you can be held liable for the cost of replacing it. Therefore, you may want to consider hiring a professional tree-cutting service to cut the tree for you.

You can trim the limbs, just don't kill the tree

Q: In one of your articles you stated that you can prune tree limbs that encroach onto your property, but you can be liable if the pruning kills the tree.

I agree that you have the absolute right to trim trees encroaching on your property, but I have not seen any Texas case law that holds you liable if the tree dies. I would agree that you cannot inject poison to an exposed cut. Can you share any Texas case law you have on this issue?

A: Most of the tree cases in Texas involve trees as boundary markers or the harvesting of trees off a neighbor's property. There are also a few easement cases and some nuisance cases. In the easement cases, utility companies are generally allowed to cut branches and trees as reasonably necessary to have full use of their easements, but they can't cut down trees outside their easements.

Most of these cases don't directly address the kinds of tree issues that come up so often in an urban setting. There are, however, a few cases that do touch on this subject, and they offer some insight into the way courts might analyze this kind of issue.

The first case, Gulf v. Oakes, was decided in 1900 by the Texas Supreme Court. In that case, a railroad company planted Bermuda grass on its right of way, and the grass spread to an adjacent property owner's property. The neighbor sued the railroad for damages, claiming the grass made it difficult for him to grow his crops. Although the jury found the railroad liable for damages totaling $200, the Texas Supreme Court determined that the railroad company had done nothing wrong.

The court stated as part of its opinion that when a tree's roots and branches extend upon another's land, the tree's owner is invading his neighbor's land. That invasion is a violation of the absolute right of the neighbor to have exclusive possession and use of his land. The court concluded that the growth of grass was a different matter and found that the railroad was not liable.

In 1995, an appeals court in Dallas issued an opinion in a case involving a healthy 65-year-old tree where a huge limb fell onto a neighbor's chimney and roof during a severe storm, causing substantial damage.

The case was called Westergard v. Whatley. The court held that the actions of the tree's owner did not amount to trespass or a nuisance.

The owner of the tree had even given prior consent to the neighbor to trim the tree and would have agreed to let the neighbor remove the limb that extended over the property line.

Two years ago, the Waco court of appeals considered a slightly different issue involving the poisoning of a tree, as you mentioned in your question.

In this case, styled Withrow v. Armstrong, the adjoining property owner poisoned a tree on her neighbor's property by injecting poison into the roots that had spread onto her property. The poison killed the tree, and the tree's owner sued for trespass and damages.

Trespass is defined as either entering another's property without consent or causing or permitting a thing to cross the boundary of the premises. The court found that because the poison migrated through the roots to kill the tree, a trespass had taken place, and the tree's owner was awarded $5,000.

Other tree owners may not be as successful as the one in the Withrow case. That case had such egregious facts that it was easy for the court to find the adjoining neighbor responsible.

Another court might be more reluctant to find a neighbor liable for killing a tree if the neighbor acted in a prudent fashion when cutting down the limbs that extended over the property line.

It would appear based upon the cases discussed that Texas residents do have the right to trim the branches of a tree that encroaches on their property, but if the pruning kills the tree, the neighbor might be able to make an argument that trespass was committed and the neighbor is responsible for damages.

However, each case is fact specific. Therefore, if you act reasonably, like the homeowner in the Westergard case, a court will probably not find you at fault.

It is usually best to hire a licensed and insured tree service. Chances are they will know how to trim the branches without killing the tree.

You should also make sure the service only cuts tree branches that clearly extended onto your property and that the service never sets foot on your neighbor's property without permission.

You should also check to see if your town or subdivision has a law or ordinance that addresses a property owner's right to trim a neighbor's tree.

In some situations, it may also be a good idea to discuss your plans with your neighbor or possibly to inform the neighbor in writing, so that you can discuss the issue and devise a solution before there's a dispute.

Dig into tree root issue before damage is done

Q: I live in a neighborhood of patio homes where the houses are extremely close together. My neighbor has several trees that were planted 4 feet from my house.

If the roots of the trees eventually cause damage to my foundation, is he liable for the damages?

A: Your neighbor could potentially be held liable, but there are steps you can take before the roots become a major problem.

The first thing you should do is meet with your neighbor to discuss the matter openly and candidly. Your neighbor may surprise you and take steps to remedy the problem without your having to resort to any other action.

If your neighbor is not receptive to your ideas, you should make a formal written demand for him to do what is needed. Otherwise you may be forced to resort to litigation.

Be sure to keep a copy of any correspondence you send him.

You could also try bringing up the matter with your homeowners association, if you have one, as it may possess authority to take action against your neighbor or perhaps remove the trees for you.

In the future, if the roots do cause damage to your home and you want to be reimbursed for the repair costs, you will either need to take legal action against your neighbor or file a claim under your homeowner's insurance policy.

But because tree roots usually take years to cause damage, a judge or jury, or even your insurance company, may find you were partially or even completely at fault for having failed to take steps years earlier to prevent the damage.

So, if you plan on taking action now or in the future, be sure to maintain a complete paper trail proving you took steps to prevent the root damage.

What recourse do I have to get my neighbors to trim their trees?

Q: My neighbors' trees hang over our yard, roof, patio and driveway. Bird droppings are everywhere. Our grass is bare in spots because of their trees. We have nicely asked them to cut off the limbs, but they have not done so. What recourse do we have?

A: If the trees are healthy, you can't force your neighbors to trim them. Cutting back the branches is a project you would need to undertake yourself, and you would be within your rights to trim their trees. Just be careful that you don't kill the trees, because you can be held liable for the cost to replace them if they don't survive the pruning.

If the trees are unhealthy, then the answer to your question is different because your neighbors would have a duty to prevent an unreasonable risk of harm to your property. Your neighbors would need to remove the trees at their expense. Otherwise they could be held liable for any damages caused if the trees were to damage your property.

Should your neighbors refuse to remove a dangerous tree and you live in Houston, you can call the Neighborhood Protection Corps by dialing 311. This is a city-run office designed to help with problems like the one you are facing.

If the city determines that one of your neighbors' trees is dangerous, they will issue a notice to have it removed within 10 days. If your neighbors don't remove the tree, they can be fined up to $500, and the city can enter their property and remove the tree at their expense.

If you live outside Houston, you may want to check with your local city government to see about tree ordinances or similar procedures.

Neighbor's tree is causing homeowner grief

Q: I live in a Harris County subdivision outside the Houston city limits.

There is a large tree on the adjacent property that overhangs and touches my roof and obstructs my driveway.

Roof and auto damage are imminent.

The agent for the absentee owner refuses to trim the tree on my side, although the opposite side has been trimmed twice.

My complaints to the improvement association have gone unanswered.

I am 83 years old, live on Social Security and am physically and financially unable to trim the tree myself.

Please recommend a course of action.

A: Since you live outside Houston city limits, you can't call the Neighborhood Protection Corps by dialing 311. This city-run office helps Houston residents with these types of problems.

Basically, you either need to hire a lawyer and try to force your neighbor to cut back the tree, an option that would likely cost you a great deal of money and that may not succeed, or you need to hire someone to cut back the tree.

You should be able to find a teenager or gardener to perform this service at a reasonable price. Otherwise, if the tree damages your car or home, you'll likely be facing an insurance deductible that is higher than the cost of pruning the tree.

Neighbors don't speak because of tree limbs

Q: Is it possible to make my neighbor trim his trees if they are hanging over my property? We do not communicate because he refuses to discuss the problem. We belong to a property management association in our subdivision, but they don't seem to care and they won't do anything to help me get this problem resolved.

A: If the trees are dead, decayed, diseased or in an otherwise dangerous condition, then your neighbor could be held liable if they were to damage your property. Unhealthy trees pose an unreasonable risk of harm, and he would be obligated to remove them or trim them back to keep them from falling and damaging your property.

If the trees are in this condition, you might want to contact your neighbor, preferably in writing, and request that he trim the trees. If you do, be sure to keep a copy of your demand letter in case the limbs damage your property before they are cut back.

On the other hand, if the trees are healthy, you would not be able to make him trim them, but instead you would be able to trim them yourself. You'll need to be careful. because if you kill a tree, you could be liable to your neighbor for the cost of replacing it. Therefore, it would be wise to hire a professional tree trimmer to perform the work.

Because you and your neighbor are not on speaking terms, it is unlikely you will be able to convince him he's obligated to trim the trees, even if they pose a risk of harm right now. But taking him to court to force him to trim the trees is not a good solution either. Why would you want to hire a lawyer and sue your neighbor over a few overgrown trees?

It would seem that if you want the trees trimmed, you're either going to have to do the job yourself or hire a company to do it for you.

My neighbor says my tree is his shade and I can't trim it

Q: There's a large oak tree in my back yard, and it has a few large branches that hang over my neighbor's yard. I mentioned to my neighbor that I was going to trim these branches back, and he told me I couldn't because my tree provides the only shade for his back yard. Since it's my tree, can I trim the branches even though they hang over onto his yard?

A: Yes, you can. As long as the tree trunk is entirely on your property, you can cut the branches. You can even cut down the whole tree. The fact that the tree is presently shading your neighbor's yard is completely irrelevant. If your neighbor won't let you enter his yard to reach the branches, you will need to find a way to trim the tree from your own yard.

You should also be careful not to cut the tree in such a way that it is a nuisance. In other words, you should cut the tree during the day rather than in the middle of the night. Hiring a professional tree service might be a good idea as well.

Tree situation is as tangled as a root ball

Q. My neighbor has a large tree on his property. Branches overhang my property and will soon damage my roof. Its roots are causing the bricks and mortar of our house and garage to separate. And it has grown to where it is causing our flower beds to wither. I've presented my neighbor with three bids for removing the tree, and I'm getting no response. What can I do?

A. You have several options.

Your homeowners insurance policy may cover the damage to your house, so you may want to start by calling your insurance agent.

Whether or not you have insurance coverage, you can trim the branches and cut back the tree's roots at your own expense.

Taking these steps will prevent any further damage to your home, and your flower beds will likely spring back to life.

But be careful. If the tree doesn't survive, you can be held liable for damages. To increase the chances the work will not damage the tree, you may want to hire one of the three companies you contacted for the bids. You definitely don't have the right to enter your neighbor's property to remove the tree unless your neighbor gives you permission to do so.

If you want, you can go one step further. Your neighbor has a duty to prevent his tree from harming your property. It seems reasonable, then, that your neighbor should be required to pay to have the tree removed or trimmed so that it stops damaging your house. Also, your neighbor may be liable to you for the damages already caused by the tree's roots.

Therefore, you may want to hire a lawyer to sue your neighbor in an attempt to recover your damages and to force either the pruning or removal of the tree. If you were only suing for money damages of $5,000 or less, you could sue without a lawyer in small claims court. But your problem with the tree is more complicated than that, as you would also be seeking an order to remove or cut back the tree. Therefore, you will probably achieve better results with proper legal representation. In fact, your insurance company may decide to sue your neighbor to recover funds they are required to pay to you.

You should be aware of several other facts. Since tree roots usually take years to cause damage, a judge or jury, or even your insurance company, may find you were partially or even completely at fault for not taking steps years ago to prevent the damage.

Before you do anything, try talking to your neighbor one more time. It's possible your neighbor will agree to remove the tree at his expense or perhaps share the cost with you.

If I cut down my neighbor's tree, can I charge him for it?

Q. Branches of my neighbor's tree hang over my property.

He won't trim them but told me I could trim them &mdash or cut down the whole tree - if I wanted to. Can I charge him for the labor?

A. If the tree is healthy, you can't make him pay.

However, you can try talking him into covering some or all of the cost. But if he doesn't want to pay, then you're going to have to pay for it yourself.

If the tree is not healthy, then the answer is somewhat different because your neighbor has an affirmative duty to prevent an unreasonable risk of harm to your property. In such a case, he would have to remove the tree at his expense - otherwise he could be held liable for any damages caused if the tree were to fall over.

If your neighbor refuses to remove a dangerous tree and you live in the city of Houston, you can call the Neighborhood Protection Group by dialing 311. They are a city-run office designed to help with problems like the one you are facing.

If the office determines your neighbor's tree is dangerous, they will issue him a notice to have it removed within 10 days. If he refuses, he can be ticketed and fined, and the city can enter his property and remove the tree for him at his expense.

If you live outside the city, you may want to check with your local government to see if it has any tree ordinances or similar procedures.

Utility company damaged my tree do I have any recourse?

Q. There are several large live oak trees on the utility easement in front of our house. A company working on underground telephone lines did serious damage to a tree.

Because the tree is in the utility easement, does this mean we have no recourse?

A. Unfortunately not. Because your trees lie within a utility easement, public utilities and other governmental entities are permitted to do their work, even if that means damaging or removing your trees. They can take those actions without providing you with notice as long as doing so is reasonably required for the maintenance or installation of public facilities or utilities.

I'm afraid my neighbor's dead trees will fall. What can I do if he won't cut them down?

Q. I live in Houston, and my neighbor has several large dead trees on his property. I'm concerned about them falling on my children, garage, power lines, etc. Is there any way to force someone to cut down dead trees on their property?

A. You should call the Neighborhood Protection Group at 713-525-2525 and file a complaint. The Neighborhood Protection Group is an office run by the city of Houston designed to help with problems like the one you are having.

If they determine your neighbor's trees are dead or dangerous, they will issue a notice to your neighbor to have the trees removed. Your neighbor will then have seven days to remove the trees. Refusal to act results in a fine of $250, and the Neighborhood Protection Group would then take your neighbor before an administrative hearing official who would issue an order to have the trees removed within a certain number of days (but not longer than 30 days).

If your neighbor still refuses to cut down the trees, the city would cut them down at your neighbor's expense. Failure to pay the city would result in a lien being placed on your neighbor's property.


Strangulation occurs when a tree can no longer function properly because its vital processes are cut off. When surrounded by rope, wire or another thin, binding material, a tree continues to grow outward around the obstruction. Eventually, the material can become embedded in all or part of the tree, cutting off the tree's circulation of nutrients and water. If the situation is not remedied in time, the situation will kill the tree.

People bind a tree for many reasons, such as to hang a hammock or to secure a leaning tree. Those tasks don't have to involve wrapping rope, wire or a similar item around a tree. If a tree leans, for instance, try to use stakes without tying them to the tree. If you want to hang a hammock from a tree, put a bolt in the tree, and hang the hammock from the bolt. Putting a bolt in a tree is much less damaging to it than strangulation.


Tips for Repairing Woodpecker Damage

Before doing anything to repair woodpecker holes in trees, first examine the damage. Determine if there has, in fact, been damage to the tree and, if so, how bad it is. Remember, just because you see a woodpecker pecking on the tree does not mean that there will be damage.

After you determine what kind of woodpecker tree damage you have, you can make a plan to repair it. If the damage is small (a few holes that are an inch (2.5 cm.) or smaller), the best thing you can do for your tree is to not do anything to repair it. Filling in these holes can trap disease against the wound in the tree and make it worse. Treat the woodpecker holes with a fungicide to keep disease from getting in and let the wounds heal over naturally. Check the damaged area frequently until it is healed over and treat immediately if you see insect activity or rot.

For larger woodpecker holes in trees or for many holes in the tree, treat the woodpecker damage with fungicide and cover the damage with hardware cloth (galvanized mesh). The hardware cloth can be attached to the tree with small bolts. Only cover the damaged area and do not encircle the tree with the mesh. Going all the way around the tree could harm it as it grows. The mesh will keep out animals and prevent further damage while the tree heals.


Do squirrels cause damage to trees?

Squirrels are, by nature, arboreal. They live in trees. I wrote this website because squirrels also choose to live in attics and chimneys of houses, which are often superior to trees. But, when no attic or chimney is available, a squirrel will settle for the old standard, a woody, leafy tree.

Many people, arborists in particular, have asked me: "how do I keep squirrels away from my trees?" Specifically, arborists seem concerned when a squirrel sets up a nest in a tree, because of the concern that the squirrels might cause some damage to the plant. Here is an example of such a concern: "We are seeing squirrels going into a knot hole in our large tree. We assume there is a squirrel nest in the tree. Is this dangerous for the tree? If so, how do we get the squirrels out, remove the nest (babies?) and keep the squirrels from coming back to that hole? Thank you. " So basically, people want to know how to get rid of squirrels nesting in trees, because they are worried that the squirrels are hurting the tree in some way.

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Well, I'm here to happily tell you that squirrels cause little damage to trees that they nest in. They don't dig holes in trees. They don't eat wood. They simply take advantage of pre-existing holes in trees, and live in those. When no knot hole or decomposed hole is available, squirrels will often build a nest out of sticks and leaves. This also does no harm to the tree unto itself, although, on occasion, squirrels will strip bark off of limbs. But this is not terribly common, or very damaging.

It is true that squirrels are rodents, so they do gnaw. But in general, they have enough nuts to gnaw on that they don't habitually gnaw on trees a whole lot. You can see from the above photos that we simply don't have a whole lot of tree damage. In fact, there's none that I can see, or see in general from squirrels in trees, other than the rare small bit of bark stripping.

Still, what do you do if you want to know how to get rid of squirrels in trees? Well, the short answer is that you're kind of fighting a losing battle. There are plenty of squirrels out there, and they live in trees, and that's part of nature, and that's that. If you really must remove squirrels that are harming your trees, you can trap and remove them. Squirrels are probably the easiest of all animals to trap. Of course, you must have the right trap first, one that is squirrel-sized, and you must mount it right. You can bait it with peanut butter and whole peanuts in the shell, or use a variety of seeds. Squirrels are naturally pretty curious. If you do trap one, be sure to relocate it at least ten miles away, and don't leave it in the trap for too long - it'll go hyper and injure itself. Just be aware that as fast as you remove squirrels, new ones will move in, so it's kind of a losing battle.

What if you want to keep squirrels off of trees? That's very difficult, and for some trees pretty much impossible. Some people have tried to wrap slick metal sheeting around part of the trunk. This will actually work, so long as there is no opportunity for the squirrel to jump from tree to tree. However, if you simply want to keep the squirrels out of a knot hole, and prevent them from nesting inside a tree (even though they cause no harm there), you can simply tack some steel mesh or screening, such as quarter inch hardware cloth that you can buy at Home Depot, over the tree knot. That'll keep them out, because they can't chew through steel screening.

Go back to the Squirrels in the Attic home page.

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Information About General Tree Care

Overcoming tree problems is easy once you know how to grow a tree properly. This section on caring for trees will provide you with all the tree growing info you need for reaching success. So learn what it takes to avoid common tree problems in the landscape by providing your trees with suitable growing conditions and care. Keep reading for information on how to grow a tree successfully and tips on caring for trees so you can enjoy them for as long as possible.

Winter Pruning Guide – Learn About Cutting Back Plants In Winter

Should you prune in winter? If you're wondering what to prune in winter, click here to see what trees or shrubs do best with winter pruning.

Can I Prune Conifers – Pruning Coniferous Trees

While pruning deciduous trees is almost an annual ritual, pruning coniferous trees is rarely required. For pruning information, click here.

What Is A Columnar Tree: Popular Columnar Tree Varieties

What is a columnar tree? These trees are narrow and slender, perfect for small spaces. Click for more information on columnar tree types.

Scale Leaf Evergreen Varieties: What Is A Scale Leaf Evergreen Tree

What is a scale leaf evergreen? If you’d like to get an overview of evergreens with scale leaves, click the following article.

Conifer Design Ideas: Using Conifers In The Garden

You may not put a lot of emphasis on conifers when you plan your garden design, but you definitely should. Click here for tips.

Growing Conifer Trees Inside: Caring For Coniferous Houseplants

Conifers as houseplants is tricky, but you can keep certain conifer trees inside if you provide the right conditions. Learn more here.

Colorful Winter Trees: Taking Advantage Of Winter Conifer Color

If you are looking for colorful winter trees, try conifers. Click here for some colorful conifers to consider adding to your landscape.

Two-Tone Conifers – Learn About Variegation In Conifers

Some homeowners are considering conifers with variegated leaves. If two-tone conifers appeal to you, click this article to learn more.

Tree Basal Shoots: What To Do With Basal Shoots On Trees

Basal growth on trees is not unusual. What is a basal shoot? If you are wondering what to do with basal shoots, click here for more info.

Wildlife Habitat Trees: Growing Trees For Wildlife

You can landscape a yard to attract wildlife by planting trees and shrubs that provide food and shelter. Here are ideas on the best wildlife habitat trees.

Choosing Trees For Shade: Best Shade Trees For Cooling Yards

If you are looking for backyard shade, it’s time to start thinking of planting a shade tree. What shade tree to plant? Click here to find out.

Tree Is Dead On One Side – What Causes A Half Dead Tree

If your tree has leaves on one side, you’ll first want to figure out what is going on with it. Click this article for more information on half dead trees.

Desert Tree Varieties: Trees You Can Grow In The Desert

Even if you live in hot, arid regions, you can find trees that prefer this climate. For ideas on types of desert trees to choose from, click here.

Pruning Mature Trees – When To Cut Back Mature Trees

Pruning mature trees is a very different matter than pruning younger trees. If you need a mature tree trimmed, click here for an overview on how and when to cut back mature trees.

Tree Products We Use: Information On Things Made From A Tree

What products are made from trees? Normally, what comes to mind is lumber and paper. However, the list of tree products we use is much longer than just these two items. Curious about what everyday items are made from trees? Click here to find out.

Ball Burlap Tree Planting: Do You Remove Burlap When Planting A Tree

You can fill your backyard for less money if you select balled and burlapped trees rather than container-grown trees. Get tips for planting these trees here.

What Is Root Washing – Learn About Washing Tree Roots

Experts now recommend root washing before planting. What is root washing? Click here to find information you need to understand the root washing method.

Ancient Trees – What Are The Oldest Trees On Earth

Do you know which trees living today have the most candles on their birthday cake? For an Earth Day or Arbor Day treat, click here for some of the world’s oldest trees.

My Tree Has Bad Soil – How To Improve Soil Around An Established Tree

When a tree has bad soil, it cannot establish roots and grow well. That means that improving soil around trees can be the most important part of tree care. Click here for information about the effects of compacted soil around trees and how to fix it.

Wind Resistant Trees – Choosing Trees For Windy Spots

Just like cold or heat, wind can be a big factor in the health of trees. If you live in an area with strong winds, you’ll need to be careful when making tree selections for your landscape. There are wind resistant trees available you can try though. Learn about them here.

What Are Feeder Roots: Learn About Feeder Roots Of Trees

A tree’s root system includes large woody roots and smaller feeder roots. Not everyone is familiar with feeder roots of trees. What are feeder roots? What do feeder roots do? Click this article for more tree feeder root information.

Microclimates And Trees – How Do Trees Affect Microclimates

Trees add to the beauty of a neighborhood. Scientists are interested in knowing if there is a relationship between trees and microclimates. Do trees change microclimates? How? For the latest information about microclimates and trees, simply click here.

What Is A Gravel Bed: How To Make A Gravel Bed For Trees

One way to stimulate transplant trees to grow new feeder roots is by using a gravel bed. What is a gravel bed? For gravel bed information and tips on how to make a gravel bed for trees, click on the following article.

What Is Marcescence: Reasons Leaves Don’t Fall From Trees

As temperatures cool, the leaves of many deciduous trees begin to show bright and vibrant colors. From yellow to red, fall foliage can create breathtaking displays in the home landscape. But what happens when the leaves don’t fall? Learn about marcescence here.

Indoor Tree Varieties: Learn About Trees You Can Grow Inside

If you really want to make a statement with your indoor jungle, growing a tree as a houseplant will definitely accomplish that. There are many different trees you can grow inside. Click the following article for trees that make great houseplant specimens.

Trees To Prune Into Hedges: What Trees Make Good Hedges

Hedges serve many purposes in a garden. Shrubs may be used for hedges however, some trees can be made into hedges as well. To learn what the best trees are for pruning into hedges, click this article.

Fast Growing Trees: Learn About Common Trees That Grow Quick

It’s such an advantage to share an area with trees that most gardeners prefer to plant those that grow fast. If you regret not planting trees years ago, click on the following article to learn what the most popular fast-growing trees are to reach your goal.

Transplanting Old Roots – Can You Dig Up An Established Plant

Every mature plant has an established root system, which provides water and nutrients to keep the plant alive. To transplant or divide mature plants, you’ll need to dig up those old plant roots. Find out how to successfully transport different root systems here.

What Is Ball Moss: Tips For Getting Rid Of Ball Moss

If you have a tree that is covered in Spanish moss or ball moss, you might be wondering if it can kill your tree. Not a bad question, but to answer it, you first need to know what ball moss is before you determine whether ball moss is bad or not. This article can help with that.

Tips For Irrigating Trees: Learn How To Water A Tree

Irrigating trees is not an exact science, but if you follow a few general guidelines about watering trees, you’ll do just fine. Click on the following article for information on how to water a tree as well as basic tree irrigation guidelines you can try.

Fruit Scented Conifers – Learn About Fruity Smelling Conifer Trees

Not everyone is aware that there are some specimens of conifer trees that smell like fruit. You may have noticed this smell, but it didn’t register. While it is not always obvious, there are several conifers with a fruity fragrance. Learn more about them in this article.

Evergreen Plant Info: What Does Evergreen Mean Anyway

Growers in colder regions often find themselves looking for ways to add visual interest to their yards throughout the winter growing season. One way is through the incorporation of evergreen plants, shrubs, and trees. But exactly what is an evergreen plant? Find out here.

How To Use A Pressure Bomb – Measuring Water In Trees With A Pressure Chamber

With issues such as drought and water conservation at the forefront of many of our minds, it’s important to accurately assess the water needs of orchards. Luckily, there are tools available to help manage these crops. Learn how to use a pressure bomb for trees here.

Trees And Weed Killer – Herbicide Tree Injury Prevention And Treatment

Herbicides have become the most common solution to weed control, especially for commercial farms, but trees and weed killer don’t often mix. Accidental damage from herbicide use is, unfortunately, an unintended consequence. Learn more in this article.

Conifer Needles Turning Color: Why Does My Tree Have Discolored Needles

Sometimes, conifer trees will be looking green and healthy and then the needles are changing color. Why are the needles turning color? Can anything be done to treat browning conifer needles? Find out more in this article.

Is Crown Shyness Real – The Phenomenon Of Trees That Don’t Touch

What if I told you that this human sentiment for personal space also exists in the plant world - that there are trees that don’t touch each other deliberately? When trees have an aversion to being “touchy feely,” it’s referred to as crown shyness in trees. Learn more here.

Do Trees Need Berms – Tips On How And When To Build A Tree Berm

Part of the job of a gardener or homeowner who plants a tree is to provide it with enough water to keep it healthy and happy. One technique that assists you in this task is constructing a berm. Do trees need berms? When to build a tree berm? Click here for answers.

What Is Ganoderma Rot – Learn How To Control Ganoderma Disease

Ganoderma fungi that attack maples, oaks and honey locust trees, among others. If your landscaping includes these or other deciduous trees, you?ll want to learn about Ganoderma symptoms so that you can quickly identify and treat them. Click here for more info.

Why Is My Tree Rotting: Information About Wood Decay Fungi In Trees

Mature trees are an invaluable asset to many home garden landscapes. As you can imagine, signs of wood rot and damage to these trees may cause quite a bit of alarm among homeowners. Click this article to learn more and find out what can be done.

What Is A Tree Flare: Should I Be Able To See A Tree’s Roots

In the wild, tree trunks flare out just above the soil line, indicating where the root system begins. If the flare is covered with soil, the roots cannot get the oxygen the tree needs. Exactly what is a tree flare? Is root flare important? Click here for root flare information.

Tree Carving Solutions: Tips For Fixing A Vandalized Tree

Anyone lucky enough to have trees in the backyard can't help but grow attached to them. If you notice that a vandal has cut into their bark, you'll immediately want to find tree carving solutions. This article can help with that. Click here to learn more.

Graffiti Paint Removal: Tips For Getting Graffiti Off A Tree

Graffiti paint removal on non-living surfaces is difficult enough, but when graffiti "artists" hit your trees, getting the paint off can be a bit more challenging. In this article, youa??ll find tips on how to remove graffiti paint from trees without damaging the plant or the environment.

Tree Leaves Didn’t Drop In Winter: Reasons Why Leaves Did Not Fall Off A Tree

Early cold snaps or extra-long warm spells can throw off a tree's rhythm and prevent leaf drop. Why didn't my tree lose its leaves this year? That's a good question. Click this article for an explanation of why your tree hasn't lost its leaves on schedule.

Shade Loving Conifers – Selecting Conifers For Shade Gardens

If you want a year-round ornamental tree in a shady corner of your garden, a conifer could be your answer. You'll find more than a few shade loving conifers, and even more shade tolerant conifers to select between. Click here for a short list of plants that might work.

Vines And Trees: Do Vines Harm Trees By Growing On Them

Vines can look attractive when they grow up your taller trees. But should you let vines grow on trees? The answer is generally no, but it depends on the particular trees and vines involved. For information about the risks of vines on trees, click this article.

Why Did My Tree Suddenly Die – Common Reasons For Sudden Tree Death

You look out the window and find that your favorite tree is dead all of a sudden. It didn?t seem to have any problems, so what happened? If this is your situation, click on the following article for information on the reasons for sudden tree death.

Softwood Tree Information: Learn About Softwood Characteristics

Some trees are softwood, some are hardwood. Is the wood of softwood trees really less dense and tough than hardwood trees? Not necessarily. In fact, a few hardwood trees have softer wood than softwoods. So exactly what are softwood trees? Find out in this article.

Hardwood Information: Recognizing Hardwood Tree Characteristics

If you've ever bumped your head on a tree, you'll argue that all trees have hard wood. But hardwood is a term biologists use. If you want information about hardwood tree characteristics, as well as a hardwood vs. softwood discussion, click here.

What Is A Samara And What Do Samaras Do

Flowering plants produce fruits after blooming, and the purpose of the fruits is to disperse seeds to grow new plants. Sometimes these are eaten by animals and dispersed. Other plants use the power of wind, and these include the samara producing trees. Learn more here.

Small Conifer Trees – Growing Dwarf Conifer Trees In The Landscape

Conifer trees that are small can add shape, texture, form and color to your garden. If you are thinking of growing dwarf conifer trees or just want tips on choosing dwarf conifers for the landscape, this article will help get you started.

Do Coniferous Plants Change Color – Learn About Conifer Color Change

When you hear the word "conifer," odds are you also think evergreen. In fact, a lot of people use the words interchangeably. They're not really the same thing, though. Click this article to learn more about conifers that change color.

Staking A Tree After Planting: Should You Stake A Tree Or Not

Do I need to stake a tree I am planting? The answer is usually not. For more information on whether or not to stake a tree after planting, click here.

What Is A Specimen Tree – Information On Planting A Specimen Tree

You'll find lots of advice on the Internet about how to use specimen trees. But what is a specimen tree? In case you are confused, it's not a species of tree. Rather, it's a tree planted by itself as a stand-alone garden feature. Learn more in this article.

Small Lawn Trees – Tips On Selecting Trees For A Small Yard

Trees are a great addition to any yard or landscape. If you have a small yard to work with, however, some trees are simply too big to be feasible. Luckily, choosing small trees is easy, and the variety you have to choose from is immense. Click here to learn more.

Tree Bark Harvesting: Tips For Harvesting Tree Bark Safely

Children enjoy gathering bark from a tree to create toy boats to race in the river. But harvesting tree bark is an adult pursuit as well. Click this article for information on the many uses for tree bark and tips on how to harvest tree bark.

Ornamental Bark On Trees: Choosing Trees With Showy Bark

Ornamental trees aren't all about foliage. Sometimes the bark is a show in and of itself, and one that can be especially welcome in the winter when flowers and leaves have disappeared. Learn more about some of the best ornamental trees with interesting bark here.

Trees Beneath Power Lines: Should You Be Planting Trees Around Power Lines

It can be pretty upsetting when you go to work in the morning with a beautiful full tree canopy on your terrace, only to come home in the evening to find it hacked into an unnatural form. Learn about planting trees beneath power lines in this article.

Hell Strip Landscaping – Learn About Hell Strip Tree Planting

Homeowners in the area of a hell strip are often responsible for hell strip tree planting and maintenance. If you are just getting started with hell strip tree planting, you may wonder how to pick small hell strip trees. Click here for tips on what to consider in hell strip landscaping.

Flagging In Trees – What Causes Tree Branch Flagging

Tree branch flagging is not a pretty sight. What is branch flagging? It's a condition when tree branches scattered throughout the tree's crown turn brown and die. If you want more information about tree branch flagging, click this article.

Planting Space Along Sidewalks: Tips For Growing Trees Around Sidewalks

These days, more homeowners are taking advantage of the small areas between the street and sidewalk for additional plantings. While flowers and shrubs are excellent plants for these small sites, not all trees are suitable. Learn more about planting trees near sidewalks here.

Problems With Concrete Over Tree Roots – What To Do With Tree Roots Covered In Concrete

The concrete vs. nature argument is not a new one. As much as we all may long for a lush, green world, most of us live in a concrete jungle. Trees are often the biggest victims of this battle. Learn about concrete over tree roots in this article.

Yellow Fall Colored Trees: Trees That Turn Yellow In Autumn

If you're a fan of trees that turn yellow in autumn, there are many yellow fall colored trees from which to choose, depending on your growing zone. Click this article for a few great suggestions on trees with yellow fall leaves.

Orange Fall Color – Types Of Trees With Orange Leaves In Autumn

Trees with orange fall foliage bring enchantment to your garden just as the last of the summer flowers are fading, depending on where you live and what trees with orange leaves you select. What trees have orange leaves in fall? Click here for some suggestions.

Red Fall Leaves: Learn About Trees With Red Foliage In Fall

Red fall leaves enrich the autumn palette and outfit the season in regal splendor. Numerous trees and shrubs can provide that searing scarlet or crimson cache to the home landscape. Learn about trees that turn red in this article.

Tree Protection On Construction Sites – Preventing Trees Tree Damage In Work Zones

Construction zones can be dangerous places, for trees as well as humans. Trees cannot protect themselves with hard hats, so it's up to the homeowner to make sure nothing occurs to injure a tree's health in work zones. This article has tips to help.

When Do Conifers Shed Needles – Learn Why Conifers Drop Needles

Conifers are a type of evergreen, but that doesn't mean they are forever green. About the same time as deciduous tree leaves turn colors and fall, you'll also see your favorite conifer dropping some needles. Click here to learn why conifers drop needles.

What Is Black Canker – Learn About Black Canker Treatment

Black canker disease can seriously disfigure trees, especially willows. Find out how to keep your trees healthy, and what to do about treating black canker disease in this article. Click here for more information.

What Is Root Pruning: Learn About Root Pruning Trees And Shrubs

What is root pruning? It is the process of cutting back long roots to encourage a tree or shrub to form new roots closer to the trunk. Tree root pruning is an essential step when you are transplanting an established tree or shrub. Learn about root pruning here.

Trees Hit By Lightning: Repairing Lightning Damaged Trees

Some 100 lightning strikes happen every second around the world, and trees are hit most often. Not all trees are equally vulnerable to lightning strikes, however, and some can be saved. Learn about repairing lightning damaged trees in this article.

Assessing Fire Damage To Trees: Tips On Repairing Burnt Trees

If your yard has trees damaged by fire, you may be able to save some of the trees. You'll want to start helping fire damaged trees as quickly as possible. Click this article for information about fire damage to trees.

Tree Branch Growing: Tips On Planting Trees From Twigs

A great, inexpensive way to propagate your favorite trees is to try planting trees from twigs or cuttings. Growing trees from cuttings is fun and easy, as long as you follow a few simple steps. For more information, this article will help.

Powdery Mildew Fungus On Trees – How To Treat Powdery Mildew On Trees

You can prevent powdery mildew fungus on trees by using proper cultural practices but treating powdery mildew on trees is also possible. Click the following article if you want to learn how to treat trees with powdery mildew.

Plants For Winter Interest: Popular Shrubs And Trees With Winter Interest

Many gardeners like to include shrubs and trees with winter interest in their backyard landscape. You can brighten your winter landscape by selecting that possess ornamental characteristics. Click here for information about plants for winter interest.

What Is Pollarding: Tips On Pollarding A Tree

Pollard tree pruning is a method of trimming trees to control their mature size and shape, creating a uniform, ball-like canopy. Learn more about pollarding a tree, including how and when to do so, in the article that follows.

Trees And Shrubs With Red Fall Foliage: Tips On Keeping Red Trees Red

Some of us design our landscapes around fall color by choosing special trees and shrubs known for their brilliant color. But what happens when these same plants don't turn that designated color, such as with red foliage? Click here to learn more.

What Is Coppicing: Tips On Coppicing Trees

Coppicing pruning is trimming trees or shrubs in a way that encourages them to sprout back from the roots, suckers or stumps. Click on the following article for more information about coppicing trees and coppicing techniques.

Edible Ornamental Fruits – Why Is My Ornamental Tree Fruiting

Are ornamental tree fruits edible? That really depends upon the type of tree. It also often depends upon the distinction between "edible" and "good." Learn more about fruit from ornamental trees in this article.

What Is Pleaching: Tips On Pleaching Hedges And Trees

Pleached trees, also called espaliered trees, are used to create arbors, tunnels and arches as well as the "hedge on stilts" look. Click this article for further information about the pleaching technique and how to pleach trees.

Moving Mature Trees: When And How To Transplant A Large Tree

Sometimes you have to think about moving mature trees if they are inappropriately planted. Moving full-grown trees allows you to change your landscape dramatically and relatively quickly. This article will help.

Shaving Down Tree Roots: Tips On How To Shave Tree Roots

When tree roots become an issue, especially around walkways, and you don't want to remove the roots, you may wonder, "Can you shave tree roots?" If so, how do you do that? The information in this article can help.

What Is An Arborist: Tips For Choosing An Arborist

When your trees have problems you are not able to solve, it may be time to call an arborist. An arborist is a tree professional. This article provides tips that will help in choosing an arborist and where to get certified arborist information.

Is My Tree Dead Or Alive: Learn How To Tell If A Tree Is Dying

If your tree doesn?t leaf out on schedule, you may start wondering ?is my tree alive or dead?? You can use various tests, including the tree scratch test, to determine whether your tree is still alive. This article will help.

Best Trees For Shade: Common Trees For Shady Areas

Trees for shady areas do not all have the same shade preferences as most other shade areas. Each species of tree has its own range of shade tolerance. You can learn more about growing tree in shade and the best trees for shade here.

Arborsculpture Gardens: How To Make A Living Tree Sculpture

Dreamy gardeners often view their landscapes as living art. Arborsculpture techniques can make those fantasies come true by providing form and eco-art in its purest form. What is arborsculpture? Click this article to learn more.

What Is Heart Rot Disease: Info About Bacterial Heart Rot In Trees

Heart rot refers to a type of fungus that attacks mature trees and causes rot in the center of tree trunks and branches. The fungus damages, then destroys, a tree's structural components and, in time, makes it a safety hazard. Learn more in this article.

Bacterial Leaf Scorch Disease: What Is Bacterial Leaf Scorch

Your shade tree may be in peril. Landscape trees of many types are getting bacterial leaf scorch disease by the droves. What is bacterial leaf scorch? Read this article to learn more about this devastating disease. Click here for more info.

Evergreen Tree Varieties – Learn About Common Types Of Evergreen Trees

Evergreen trees and shrubs retain their foliage and remain green year-round. But not all evergreens are the same. By distinguishing common evergreen tree varieties, it will be easier to find one that fits your particular landscape needs. Click here to learn more.

What Is A Graft Collar And Where Is The Tree Graft Union Located

Mature trees that have undergone this process can develop graft collar suckering, which is undesirable for numerous reasons. What is a graft collar? Learn more about graft collars in this article. Click here to get additional information.

Ring Garden Design – Planting Gardens Around Trees And Shrubs

Ring gardens offer a buffer from mechanical devices and give exposed roots some coverage. They can also perk up the yard. What are ring gardens? Click this article to learn more about planting around trees and shrubs.

Early Color Change Of Foliage: What To Do For Tree Leaves Turning Early

When autumn colors come early to your landscape, you may wonder if your plants are sick or simply confused. Luckily, we speak fluent tree and we?re happy to translate their message to you. This article will help when tree leaves turn early.

Cold Weather Damage To Trees – Pruning Winter Damaged Trees And Shrubs

Winter is hard on plants. Heavy snow, freezing ice storms, and violent wind all have the potential to damage trees. Learn the when and how to prune winter-damaged trees to reinvigorate and restore them to health in this article.

Vehicle Damage To Trees: Fixing A Tree Hit By Car

Traumatic injury to trees can be a serious and even deadly problem. Vehicle injury to trees can be particularly difficult to correct since the damage is often severe. Fixing a tree hit by car is a wait and see prospect, as this article explains.

Canopy Thinning: Tips For Thinning Canopies In Trees

The lovely little tree you planted years ago can grow to become a monster. In order to increase the tree's health and well-being of lower story plants, it is useful to thin the canopy. This article will help with that.

Types Of Weeping Trees: Common Weeping Trees For Landscaping

If you aren't sure which weeping trees are right for your garden, we're here to help. This article discusses some of the most common types of weeping trees for landscaping, along with their advantages to make your selection easier.

Transplanting Trees And Shrubs: How And When To Move Trees In Landscape

Moving established trees can be an intimidating project, but if it can transform your landscape or fix fundamental design problems, it?s worth the trouble. How exactly does one go about moving trees? This article explains more.

My Tree Stump Is Growing Back: How To Kill A Zombie Tree Stump

After cutting down a tree, you might find that the tree stump keeps sprouting each spring. The only way to stop the sprouts is to kill the stump. Find out how to kill a zombie tree stump in this article with tips for getting rid of tree stumps and roots.

What Is An Ornamental Tree: Types Of Ornamental Trees For Gardens

Ornamental trees have a lot to offer in the home landscape. Read this article for help in selecting a suitable ornamental tree for the landscape. Click here to get additional information.

How To Garden Beneath A Tree: Types Of Flowers To Plant Under Trees

When considering a garden beneath a tree, it is important to keep a few rules in mind. Otherwise, your garden may not flourish and you could injure the tree. Read here to learn more.

Painting Tree Trunks White: How To Paint Tree Bark

Tree trunk painting is an old-time method to seal trunks and protect them. Why do people paint trees white? Read this article to find out more about this practice and see if it's something you'd like to try.

Can You Darken A Tree That’s Been Sun Bleached?

Knowing how to color sun bleached trees will prevent the damage while allowing the natural beauty of the plant to shine through. Learn more about fixing faded bark on trees in this article.

Planting Small Trees: Tips For Choosing Trees For Small Yards

When choosing trees for small yards and gardens, you'll probably only have room for one, so make it special. This article will help with tips for choosing a small tree for your garden.

What Is Fruit Tree Sterilization: Information On How To Sterilize A Tree

Fruit trees and ornamental specimens can drop large amounts of debris and fruit. The clutter is an eyesore and causes problems. This article discusses how to sterilize trees to avoid these issues.

Tree Topping Information – Does Tree Topping Hurt Trees

Think you can shorten a tree by cutting off the top? Topping can permanently disfigure, or even kill, a tree. Read this article for more tree topping information. Click here to learn more.

What Is Frost Crack: What To Do For Cracking Tree Trunks

During periods of cold winter nights followed by warm sunny days, you may discover frost cracks in trees. Read this article for more information on tree bark cracking. Learn more here.

What Is Tree Wound Dressing: Is It Ok To Put Wound Dressing On Trees

When trees are wounded, through pruning or accidently, some gardeners try to help by applying a tree wound dressing. But are there any real benefits of wound dressing on trees? Find out here.

Invasive Tree Root List: Trees That Have Invasive Root Systems

Did you know that the average tree has as much mass below ground as it has above ground? Invasive tree roots can be very destructive. Learn more about invasive tree roots in this article.

What Is Bacterial Canker: Bacterial Canker Symptoms And Treatment

If you notice your tree suddenly developing sunken wounds that appear to be weeping a rusty or amber-colored liquid, it may be experiencing bacterial canker symptoms. Learn more in this article.

Damage From Over Pruning: Can You Kill A Plant From Over Pruning?

Over pruning in plants can be just as bad, or even worse, than not pruning them at all. This article explores the topic of over pruning in plants and how to repair any damage, of possible.

What Are Burrknot Borers: Symptoms And Causes Of Burrknot In Trees

Grafted trees are prone to many strange tricks, sometimes sending out angry-looking spines or armies of water sprouts emerging from the bottom of the tree. Learn about burrknot of trees in this article.

Dry And Brittle Trees – What Causes Tree Branch Breaking And Brittleness

No landscape is complete without healthy trees to provide shade and structure, but when dry and brittle trees split and drop branches, you may wonder if they are worth the trouble. Find out in this article.

Can You Grow Trees From Sucker Plants: Tips On Planting A Tree Shoot

There is a lot of information on how to remove and kill suckers but very little about how to preserve them., leading many people to ask, ?Can you grow trees from sucker plants?? The answer can be found here.

Rabbits Eating Bark Off Trees – Preventing Rabbit Damage To Trees

The sight of a bunny on the lawn may warm your heart, but not if it's eating the bark off your trees. Rabbit damage to trees can cause serious injury or even the death of the tree. Learn more here.

Types Of Windbreaks: How To Create A Windbreak In The Landscape

A well-sited windbreak can provide a number of benefits to the home landscape. Read this article to learn more about how to create and care for windbreaks so you can take advantage of everything they offer.

Tree Borer Management: Signs Of Tree Borer Insects

Would you know how to identify tree borers if your trees didn't behave predictably one spring? Read here to learn more about how to identify tree borers and treatment for tree borers once this becomes an issue.

What Is The Lifespan Of A Tree: How The Age Of A Tree Is Determined

When planting trees on your property, keep the future in mind, as a number of trees can live a long time while other not so much. Read here for information on the average age of trees.

What Are Conifers: Growing Conifers In The Garden Landscape

Perhaps one of the best reasons to plant conifers in the garden is that they require very little care. Learn more about growing conifers in the garden landscape with information from this article.

Cold Hardy Palms: Cold Hardy Tropical Trees For The Landscape

Just looking at a tropical tree makes most people feel warm and relaxed. However, you don't have to wait for your vacation south to admire a tropical tree, even if you live in a northerly climate. Learn more here.

What Are Deciduous Trees And Shrubs: Types Of Deciduous Trees And Shrubs

Deciduous shrubs and trees add vibrant blooms in spring and summer, colorful foliage in fall and then drop their leaves prior to winter?s nap. Read here to learn more about the life cycle of deciduous plants.

Tree Root Systems: Learn About Problem Tree Roots

Invasive tree roots are a common problem for homeowners and in commercial settings. They interfere with streets and sidewalks, sneak into septic lines and cause trip hazards. Learn more in this article.

Girdled Tree Help – Learn How To Fix Girdled Trees

One of the worst things that can happen to a tree is girdle trunk damage. Not only is it detrimental to the tree but it can also be frustrating. Read this article to learn more about help for girdled trees.

Cankers On Trees: How Do You Treat Cankers In A Tree

You may have noticed some unsightly cankerous looking wounds in your tree. What are tree cankers and what causes them, and how do you treat cankers in a tree once you see them? Read here to learn more.

Peeling Bark On Trees: What To Do For Trees That Have Peeling Bark

If you have notice peeling tree bark on your trees, you may be asking, ?Why is bark peeling off my tree?? This article can help shed some light on the issue so you?ll know what, if anything, can be done for it.

Deciduous Tree Leafing Problems: Why Won’t My Tree Leaf Out?

Deciduous trees are trees that lose their leaves at some point during the winter. Deciduous tree leafing problems are common and can evoke anxiety but this article should help relieve any frustration.

Information On How To Get Rid Of Tree Stumps

Sometimes trees require removal. Once removed, homeowners are often left with an unsightly stump. But, with a little know how, you can easily remove these stumps. This article will help.

Trees Showing Roots: Trees With Above Ground Roots

If you?ve ever noticed a tree with above ground roots and wondered what to do about it, then you?re not alone. Surface tree roots are more common than one might think. Learn more in this article.

Signs And Symptoms Of Witches’ Broom On Trees And Shrubs

Ever seen those odd-looking, broom-like distortions in a tree? Perhaps it?s one of yours or in a tree nearby. What are these and do they cause any harm? Read here to find out more about witches? broom disease.

Trees With Interesting Bark – Using Exfoliating Bark On Trees For Seasonal Interest

Planting exfoliating bark trees can provide year round seasonal interest. Exfoliated bark is magnificent in spring and summer and breathtaking in the fall and winter. Click here to learn more.

Filling Holes In Tree Trunks: How To Patch A Hole In A Tree Trunk Or A Hollow Tree

When trees develop holes or hollow trunks, this can be a concern for many homeowners. Will a tree with a hollow trunk or holes die? Should you be patching a tree hole or hollow tree? Read here to find out.

How To Make A Tree Straight And Stop Trees From Leaning

Most gardeners want the trees in their yard to grow straight and tall, but sometimes Mother Nature has other ideas - a leaning tree. Can you straighten a tree? Read this article to find out more.

Trees And Water – Wet Soil Trees For Standing Water Areas

If your yard has poor drainage, you need water loving trees. If you choose wisely, you can find trees that not only grow in wet, swampy area, but will thrive. Learn more about using water loving trees here.

Bareroot Planting: How To Plant Bareroot Trees

Many people buy bareroot trees and shrubs from mail order catalogs in order to take advantage of significant savings - but then wonder how to plant bareroot trees. Read here to find out.

Transplanted Tree Watering Requirements – Watering A Newly Planted Tree

Watering a newly transplanted tree is an important task.But how much to water a new tree? Click this article to find the answer and other tips.

Stopping Volunteer Trees – Managing Unwanted Tree Seedlings

Weed trees are volunteer trees the gardener doesn’t want. What should you do when you find young trees you didn’t plant springing up in your backyard? Click on this article to find out your options including tips on how to get rid of volunteer trees.

Wetwood Infected Bleeding Trees: Why Do Trees Ooze Sap

A number of things can cause a tree to start showing signs of bacterial wetwood. Though not usually serious, it can be a chronic disease that can eventually cause the tree's decline. Click here for more info.

Grafting Trees: What Is Tree Grafting

Tree grafting is the most common method used for propagating trees, especially for fruit trees. Grafted trees reproduce fruit, structure and characteristics of a similar plant. Learn more about this process here.

Can Grafted Trees Revert To Their Rootstock?

Tree grafting is an excellent way to bring the best of two varieties together into a single tree. But sometimes grafted trees can revert to their original form. Learn why this happens in the following article.

Tips For Growing Grass Under A Tree

Everyone wants to enjoy a nice, lush lawn, including those of us with a tree or two in the yard. But, if you have trees in your yard, it is a safe bet that you think "Why can't I grow grass under a tree?" Click here for more.

What To Do For Storm Damage Tree’s Repair

Assessing storm damage of trees can be a daunting task. While most people begin to panic once there is noticeable tree bark damage, this doesn't have to be the case. Read this article for more information.

How To Remove Tree Sap

With its sticky, goo-like texture, tree sap quickly adheres to just about anything it comes into contact, from skin and hair to clothing, cars and more. Read here to get tips for removing tree sap.

How To Kill A Tree: Killing Trees In Your Garden

While we mostly enjoy the presence of trees in our garden, there are times when they can become a nuisance. Knowing how to kill a tree is no different from killing a weed. This article will help.

Tree Planting Tips: How And When To Plant Trees

Knowing how and when to plant trees is crucial to their success. For the best time to plant and how to plant trees correctly in the landscape, click here.

Repairing Tree Bark Damage

Tree bark damage is not only unsightly but can be deadly to a tree. For all intents and purposes, tree bark is the skin of the tree. Get tips for repairing tree bark damage in this article.

What Is Tree Sap?

Most people know what is tree sap but not necessarily the more scientific definition. Additionally, they may be startled by the sight of sap on their tree. Find information about sap in trees here.

Tree Disease Identification: Sooty Canker Fungus

Sooty canker is a tree disease that can cause damage to trees in warm, dry climates. If you suspect your tree may be affected, read here for steps you can take to help save the tree or prevent the problem.

Tree Sucker Removal And Tree Sucker Control

You may have noticed that an odd branch has started growing from the base or the roots of your tree. What is going on? This is sucker growth. Learn about controlling and removing tree suckers in this article.

Fall Leaf Life Cycle: Why Do Leaves Change Colors In The Autumn

While leaves changing color in the fall is wonderful to watch, it does beg the question "why do leaves change colors in the autumn?" There is a scientific answer for this, which can be found here.

What Does A Dying Tree Look Like: Signs That A Tree Is Dying

If you look at a tree and are forced to ask yourself "what does a dying tree look like?" chances are, that tree is dying. Learn how to identify a tree that is dying here.

Using Trees And Shrubs For Winter Interest

Since many herbaceous plants are not visible during winter, trees and shrubs must become the dominant figures within the landscape. Find tips on using trees and shrubs for winter interest here.

Growing Trees In Containers

Planting trees in containers is becoming more popular, especially in landscapes with little or no outside space. Find tips for growing trees in containers with information found in this article.

Trees That Please The Landscape

Trees define the landscape, creating the bones of your garden. Choose the wrong one and the appearance of your home may be diminished. Read this article to find good trees for the landscape.

How To Root Cuttings From Various Shrubs, Bushes And Trees

Unfortunately, shrubs and trees are the most expensive plants to purchase for your garden. One way to save money is to start your own from cuttings. Get tips for rooting softwood and hardwood cuttings here.


Fasteners and Fabric

Now that you have your bird house in hand and a tree in your sights, it is time to attach the two together. Most people accomplish this task with things like nails or screws. While this will surely keep the bird house firmly attached to the tree, it is also likely to harm the tree in the process.

When you drive a nail or screw through the bark of a tree, you expose the delicate phloem, cambium and xylem to fungi, bacteria, viruses and bugs. While your tree may be able to compartmentalize the wound and fight off invaders, it is an unnecessary risk to take. Accordingly, you should avoid hanging your bird house with nails or screws.

The best way to hang a bird feeder without harming the tree is through the use of straps. Flat nylon webbing (like this) is a great option, but you can improvise and use just about any kind of cordage or strong fabric if need be. You can glue or sew Velcro to the webbing, which will let you strap the birdhouse directly to the tree without having to use any invasive fasteners. Alternatively, you can purchase nylon webbing straps that have buckles or other fasteners already attached.


How to Brace Weakly Attached Tree Branches and Trunks

Some trees -- silver maples come to mind -- lack the flexibility or the strength in their branches or trunks to stand up to strong winds. Others grow branches at severe angles that make breakage almost inevitable. Bracing large trees requires professional training and equipment, and proper pruning can prevent much of the breakage that afflicts soft-wooded trees. If, however, a storm weakens a young tree, homeowners can brace branches and trunks themselves.

Prune away any dead or damaged branches, and remove water sprouts -- the tender branches that grow straight up along an existing branch. Splicing a branch is futile and water sprouts, which sprout after a protracted rainy period, sap strength from the architectural branches.

Place rods across split trunks, and place cables between limbs above the split. Cable branches that grow in a tight “V,” a formation that might lead to splitting as the tree grows.

Target multiple leaders or split trunks for rods. Drill holes for rods with bits large enough for 1/4-inch rods for trunks up to 7 inches in diameter. For trunks up to 17 inches, use 3/8-inch rods.

Insert one rod across two leaders or a split trunk. Insert two or more rods in an “X” or triangular pattern as seen from the top when supporting multiple trunks or trunks split by weather. Secure rods with washers and nuts on both ends. Use rods that extend beyond the bark on both sides of the trunk. You need to open the bolts each spring to allow for tree growth, to avoid having to periodically insert new bolts.

Begin cabling two branches together by placing an eye bolt or lag hook on each branch two-thirds of the distance from its joints with the trunk to its tip. Set bolts or hooks at angles so that the cable joining them pulls straight from each one, or else the tension of the cable might tear the anchor out of the wood, injuring the tree. Use lag hooks just long enough to reach through the branch but not through the opposite bark. Install bolts all the way through the branch, and secure them with washers and nuts on the opposite side of the branch.

Cut a length of galvanized steel cable long enough to connect the bolts on each branch, plus provide extra for crimping.

Load a steel sleeve on one end of the cable, and thread the end of the cable through a hook or eye. Fold the cable back through the sleeve, and crimp the sleeve with a crimper. Load another steel sleeve on the opposite side of the cable, pull the cable taut, fold the cable back through the sleeve, and crimp the sleeve. Have a helper assist in stringing cable.

  • Follow industry standards published by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for cable, bolt and rod sizes based on trunk or branch diameters.
  • ANSI 3000 standards dictate that holes drilled for rods or bolts "shall not be greater than one-sixth the diameter of the limb, trunk or branch at the site of installation" to avoid splitting.
  • If you use lag hooks, you can crimp the cable before threading it on the hook.
  • "Taut" does not mean "tight." Cables tighten during summer and on rainy days, and loosen in winter when tree branches weigh less. Try to string cables during early spring as trees leaf out or late fall as they lose leaves, to provide an average weight.
  • Check rods and cables annually, and adjust them if they are too taut or becoming slack. Even if bracing by the homeowner is successful for a few years, the tree eventually will grow too large and require professional care.
  • Wear eye protection and gloves when pruning and bracing trees.
  • Bracing and cabling do not repair defects. They are supplemental support methods that require maintenance as the tree grows.

An avid perennial gardener and old house owner, Laura Reynolds has had careers in teaching and juvenile justice. A retired municipal judgem Reynolds holds a degree in communications from Northern Illinois University. Her six children and stepchildren served as subjects of editorials during her tenure as a local newspaper editor.


Tree Trunk Wounds

There are many types of wounds on trunks and most will heal on their own. The good news is, a tree has the amazing ability to seal off or compartmentalize most wounds. Still, when a tree trunk receives a wound, the injury becomes a pathway for disease, insects, and decay. This situation might be repeated many times during the life of an individual tree, so a long-term plan for tree care is essential to the continued health of your trees.

Tree trunk injury can happen naturally in a forest and the causal factors include storms, icing, fire, insects, and animals. Inappropriate logging and forest management practices cause damage that can eventually affect the entire tree stand.

The urban landscape can suffer unintentional trunk injuries from construction equipment, lawn mower dings, and improper limb pruning.

A tree can usually recover if no more than 25% of its trunk is damaged around its circumference. Because the underlying cambium tissue is what transport water and nutrients up from the roots to branches and leaves, a more serious trunk injury can kill the tree by effectively starving it.

If damage to the trunk occurs, experts recommend cutting away the damaged portion of the bark tissue down to solid wood. Do not use tree paint or any other coating, but watch the wound carefully. Over time, the trunk wound should begin to close itself on its own, provided it has not been damaged too severely. If rot begins to set in, however, the prognosis for recovery is not good, and you may want to consider removal of the tree sooner rather than later.


Watch the video: Tree Drilling (August 2022).