Introducing Our New Mulch Calculating Tool

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.

Girdling Roots

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.
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Tree Removal Permit in Austin

Be careful before you remove a tree in your yard if you live in Austin. Many of the trees in Austin are protected. Possibly even some in your yard! The city’s tree protection ordinance is somewhat complicated. Here is some info to get you started.

  1. In residential settings, trees 19″ DBH (diameter at breast height, approx 4.5′) and larger are protected
  2. In commercial settings, trees 8″ DBH and larger are protected
  3. Trees 24″ and larger are classified with heritage status
  4. Removing or pruning out more than 25% of the canopy of a protected tree requires a permit

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Rainwater Harvesting / Collection

As much as I want to believe that my exhaustive arborist knowledge and skills are the saving grace for all trees I encounter, the reality is rain does more good than anything I can dream up. Unless… if I could provide trees with rainwater on demand! Hello rainwater harvesting. Did you know that irrigation water from a well or the city’s supply is vastly different than rainwater? Continue reading Rainwater Harvesting / Collection

How to Water a Newly Planted Tree

You absolutely must water your tree properly if you want any newly planted / transplanted tree to thrive. I highly recommend an automatic sprinkler system and/or tree bubbler. A tree’s planting site is going to determine the final watering regimen exactly, but here are some guidelines to help you get started.
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Growing Turf Grass (Lawn) Around Trees

Most tree guys I know and network with would tell you that turf growing under you trees is horrible. I don’t agree with this. There are definitely some potential problems. But, in my opinion, the potential benefits out-weigh the potential problems. Growing turf grass around trees can be done successfully. But, be careful.

There are three basic arguments against turf growing under trees. The first is that the turf robs all the nutrients in the soil. Ok, yes, grass chews up a LOT of nitrogen. But, if you are mulching your clippings and not bagging then most of the nutrients are staying there. And, most people are good about providing supplemental fertilizers. Just make sure the fertilizer you use doesn’t have weed killer mixed in. We call these products weed-n-feeds and they are HORRIBLE for trees.
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Installing Irrigation Systems Around Trees

Installing an irrigation system IS the number one thing you can do to improve the overall health and beauty of your landscape. Just look at Arizona. They took the desert and made some of the most lush golf courses in the country. Irrigation is good for the trees, too, not just the grass. But, be careful, there are some issues.
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Building a Patio or Deck Around Trees

Quite opposite of the typical instinctive thought, putting a patio around a tree can be very beneficial to the tree. I will cover the fundamental benefit the tree receives from a patio and discuss the pros and cons of different construction materials / techniques.
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What is a Good Fast Growing Shade Tree for Austin and Central Texas? – Red Oak

What is the best fast growing shade tree to plant in Austin? Here is my answer: red oak. There are several factors that must be considered, and there are special precautions you need to take. No tree is fool proof. Continue reading What is a Good Fast Growing Shade Tree for Austin and Central Texas? – Red Oak

Water Your Trees, How Much and When

You should water your trees. Watering your tree can be the best treatment for improving tree health. But, watering improperly will provide zero or negative help to your trees and waste a valuable resource. The complicated part of knowing how much to water is recognizing that different trees have different needs and different planting sites will have different drainage and water holding characteristics. This blog isn’t about learning to be a hydrologist, but here are a few general tips to point you in the right direction for properly hydrating your tree.
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