mobile menu button Menu

Arborist Blog About Trees

ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ)

January 1, 2014

Assessing tree risk is one of the more complex functions certified arborists must perform. The simple fact is that tree failures are, in large part, unpredictable. To help our profession, the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) has developed some standards to the process of evaluating tree risk and there is now a “qualification” for arborists to acquire. Being the inquisitive individual that I am, I’ve attended the class and passed the test to become TRAQ qualified. (keep reading…)

Using Trees for Stormwater Runoff Mitigation

September 27, 2013

For many years, the arborist community has been touting the great benefits trees offer to the urban environment. I think everybody in the world agrees with this from the surface level. One of the deeper discussions on this topic is the value of stormwater-runoff mitigation that trees can provide. However, nearly every time I’ve tried to bring up this topic in a planning (keep reading…)

Austin Heritage Tree Ordinanace

August 31, 2013

The city of Austin heritage tree ordinance was adopted back in February of 2010. The new ordinance expands upon the existing tree protection ordinance creating a new “class” of protected size tree. (keep reading…)

Kolkhorst Anti Tree Bill

February 23, 2013

Just today, one of my respected colleagues, Heather Brewer, a municipal forester in the City of Georgetown, turned me on to a bill that is being introduced by Republican house member Lois Kolkhorst. Kolkhorst is from Brenham, TX. Her proposal aims to put maximum limits on tree mitigation that a government entity can require. And, the proposal prevents a municipality from enforcing tree protection in extra-territorial jurisdictions. As much as we all hate complicated law, there is a need for it. Expecting us to all get along without rules is overly optimistic. So, I do think some variety of state regulation could be useful if the language is well written. However, this proposal raises an eyebrow on me for many reasons. (keep reading…)

Mulch Calculator

November 19, 2011

The purpose of the mulch calculator is to help you figure out how much mulch you need to buy for your mulching project. Mulch is conventionally sold by the yard. When you draw an area on the map it tells you how many yards of mulch are required to cover the area and also gives you some square footage calculations in case that is useful to you. There are some price calculations in there, but it’s really up to you to price shop and get the best deal you can.

Mulch Calculator interactive map

Tree Fungi Identification Tool – Photo Helper

November 13, 2011

There are so many different fungi out there. Only some of them affect trees. Some grow on/in trees, but don’t really affect the tree’s health. Some usually don’t affect tree health, but can become pathogenic in the right circumstances. Identifying and understanding all these different fungi is definitely one of the more challenging parts of being an arborist. Over the years, I have run into a number of these fungi and done some homework on them. However, many of these fungi are pretty uncommon so retaining all the details I learn about a fungus I only see once in a while becomes an issue sometimes. To help with the challenges of identifying fungi, I made this Fungus photo identification helper tool. I’ve only recently created it, so there are a lot of fungi that I haven’t yet added to the list. But, it will grow with time as I use it. I hope you find it helpful. Watch this short video to see how it works.


2011 Texas Tree Conference – Building Bridges with Arboriculture

August 30, 2011

2011 texas tree conference logoOn October 5th – 7th the best arborists in the state will be meeting in Waco for the 32nd annual Texas Tree Conference. The event is for local arborists and foresters to learn from the leading researches and leaders in the industry and obtain needed CEU’s to maintain arborist certification requirements. However, anybody is welcome. You don’t have to be a professional arborist to come.

You can register online at the ISAT webstore.
Get the registration brochure here.
Here is the vendor registration form in you want to be a sponsor.

All About the Texas Tree Climbing Competition

August 26, 2011

ISAT is the Texas chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Every year ISAT puts on the Texas Tree Climbing Championships. The winner of our Texas competition qualifies to represent our chapter in the international tree climbing championships (ITCC). Just to be clear, the ISA is truly an international organization. There are 37 chapters and 9 associate organizations. 20 of them are US and 17 other countries.
(keep reading…)

2012 Texas Tree Climbing Championships

August 21, 2011

The annual Jamboree for Texas tree climbers is coming to Austin again next spring. If you haven’t been before you should come! Two action-packed, tree-climbing days will culminate to yield the 2012 Champion who’ll earn the right to represent our state/chapter in the international championships in Portland, Oregon next summer. (keep reading…)

Girdling Roots

July 4, 2011

IMG_00792.jpg Most planted trees in the Austin area are container grown trees. Most container grown trees develop girdling roots. If you’ve planted a tree, there is a good chance this is going to be an issue for your tree. Girdling roots are a serious problem. The end result is the tree literally choking itself. Tree death is the typical result from severely girdling roots. Even if your tree is lucky enough to survive, overall health and vigor will be poor. Behind construction and weed-n-feed damage, this is probably the third most prevalent and serious tree issue I run into out in the field (especially for transplanted trees). The picture to the left shows a typical looking girdling root. Keep in mind these aren’t always visible from surface level. Sometimes you have to dig down to find them.
(keep reading…)