City of Westlake Hills Tree Ordinance Information

westlakehillslogocrop.jpg On February 10, 2010 the City of Westlake Hills adopted a new tree ordinance. You can read the document in its entirety here. But, I’d like to offer you these important items in the ordinance.

  1. You must have a permit for any tree pruning if you hire a service. If you do the pruning yourself, there are some allowance, but you should contact Christy to keep yourself out of trouble.
  2. Trees up to 6″ diameter can be removed without permit.
  3. Trees 6″ and larger can be Continue reading City of Westlake Hills Tree Ordinance Information

Critters Getting on Your House Through the Trees?

Racoons, squirrels, rats, you name it. If it can climb, it wants in your house. I frequently get called out to bid a tree trimming jobs where the only goal is to cut the tree back far enough so that wild life can’t use it to get on the roof. Take my recommendation and don’t butcher up your trees in an overzealous attempt to keep everything away from your roof.austinmain.jpg For starters, call a wildlife / rodent control service and consult with them. Arborists or tree trimmers are not the best people to talk to about controlling wildlife. I like to refer people to Austin Wildlife Pro.

To keep Raccoons out of your attic you only need a small amount of clearance. Raccoons are somewhat fat and clumsy; you won’t catch them doing many acrobatic tricks. I’ve watched a squirrel with my own two eyes scale a brick wall, so no amount of tree pruning is really going to solve that problem.

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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Constructing In-Ground Swimming Pools Around Trees

Quite possibly the only thing better than being under a shade tree in the summer is taking a dip in the pool. If you are planning to build an in-gound pool near one of your prized trees be careful. You are going to be digging a big hole in the ground and will likely be taking many tree roots in the process.
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Soil Restructuring. An Important Part of Tree Care.

Soil restructuring is one of the most powerful tools we have for tree health management. The idea is to till the soil; improving its structure will allow valuable air and water to more easily penetrate the soil. While fundamental in gardening theory, this task is not easy at the scale of a large tree.
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Part 3. How to Apply Treatments to Trees

There are a variety of ways to apply tree fertilizers and other treatments. For the average layperson, applications to a tree can be challenging. High pressure sprayers are readily available at equipment rental stores, so you can do it yourself, but this equipment is not easy to use. Accessing a tree’s root system deep in the soil or reaching the upper boundaries of canopy on a mature tree requires this special equipment.
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Herbicide Damage To a Tree. Weed-n-Feed for Your Lawn is Killing Your Trees.

Herbicide damage is one of the biggest tree killers I run into. Weed-n-feed products are the number one culprits. If you buy a bag of fertilizer from your local do-it-yourself store make sure that the bag does not have weed control mixed in with the fertilizer. Most weed control products will affect boad leaf plants and go unnoticed to grasses. Trees are in the broad leaf plant category.
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Is my tree sick?

This may seem like a simple question, but it is not. Here’s the “X” factor that makes it hard to know if your tree is sick: trees have energy reserves. This means that when something afflicts your tree, the tree is going to fight a good battle without you ever knowing it. But, there are some subtle signs to look for. Here are the secrets you need to know.
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