ABC Blog

When to Trim Crape Myrtles

a crape myrtle bush

Crape myrtles are popular trees because of their beautiful flowers that bloom in spring and hang on through warm summers. Their leaves are stunning in the fall, and even their vase-like shape and bark have their appeal in the winter. The question on many homeowners’ and landscapers’ minds is “When is the best time to prune them?”

Depending on the climate of your area, pruning should take place in late winter or early spring. It should definitely happen before the first blooms start to grow. It is important not to go overboard when cutting back the tree’s pretty branches. Many people cut their crape myrtles down to a nub, which is an eyesore in more than one way.

Not only does it look like a horrible accident, but such a severe trim stops the interesting, mottled bark from forming. Why buy and plant such pleasant trees only to remove all that beauty? … Read Full Post »

How To Trim a Crepe Myrtle Tree

a large pink crepe myrtle tree

Crepe myrtles can be a gorgeous and relatively low-maintenance tree that will spruce up your yard. Not only are they drought tolerant, but they can also survive through humidity and high temperatures. However, homeowners can accidentally ruin these colorful trees if they are not careful. It is important to follow a few helpful maintenance tips to keep your crepe myrtles healthy and beautiful.

For one, excessive trimming can ruin a crepe myrtle. Only young crepe myrtle trees need pruning, and these saplings should be pruned with great care. Cutting back too many or too few branches when the tree is young can make the tree unhealthy, unattractive and difficult to maintain once it gets older.

The first step is to make sure you are pruning at the right time of year. It is important to wait until late winter or very early spring before new growth begins to cut into your trees. … Read Full Post »

Your Guide To Trimming Fruit Trees

a lemon tree bearing lots of fruit

When fruit trees are well cared for, they can make a gorgeous addition to your yard. Fruit trees also bring pleasure year after year as they bear flowers followed by delicious fruits. If they aren’t cared for in the right ways and at the right times, however, they can have trouble growing fruit. They might even wind up looking scraggly and stunted after a few short years. Fortunately, trimming fruit trees is easy enough to do yourself, as long as you have the time, tools and knowledge needed to do it right.

Trimming fruit trees increases both sunlight and air flow among the tree’s strongest and healthiest branches. This extra sunlight and air flow stimulates their growth. If you’ve planted a young fruit tree, expect to trim pretty aggressively for several years to stimulate growth. Don’t expect the tree to bear fruit for the first few years. Just concentrate on trimming … Read Full Post »

How Far Should Tree Branches Be From a House?

A house surrounded by oak trees that have been trimmed back

Surrounding your house with trees can lend visual appeal to your entire property. Unfortunately, this gorgeous greenery can spell disaster. When trees are too close to your home, the roots can destroy your foundation, and branches hanging over your roof can cause a whole range of problems.

As a general rule, trees should be at least 10 to 20 feet from your home, but the exact distance depends on the size of the tree, its canopy and its root system. Ideally, no part of a tree should touch your home, and branches that hang over your roofline should be trimmed regularly. These limbs can be responsible for serious damage if they break and fall. Not only can your roof or other property surrounding your house be impacted, but your family or houseguests could be put at risk for injury.

At the very least, any branches that hang over the house should be … Read Full Post »

How to Trim Large Trees and When To Hire a Pro

The underside of an oak tree on a sunny day

Trees can add great beauty, curb appeal and value to a home, but when their branches grow so long that they begin to scrape against the house or become a falling hazard during a storm, many homeowners want to know how to trim their large trees. There are many benefits of pruning a mature tree, including removing dead or diseased branches, increasing light and airflow to the tree’s inner canopy and reducing the risk of a branch falling and potentially causing harm. Trimming large trees involves working with specialized tools and demanding physical labor, which is why many homeowners have their trees professionally trimmed regularly. If you want to know the steps involved or think you might be up for the job, you’ll want to do your homework.

Here are the basics of how to trim large trees:

  • Once you’ve identified a limb that needs to be cut, you would need to … Read Full Post »

What’s The Best Time To Trim Oak Trees?

Best time to trim oak trees

Oak trees are extremely popular here in Texas—and for good reason. Not only are they beautiful, but they also offer shade in the summer and help keep our homes warm in the winter. However, without proper trimming, the branches on these trees can become extremely heavy, posing a risk to your property, your family and your neighbors.

To reduce the risk of disease and infection, it is best to prune oak trees between the months of July and January. However, using the right techniques and under the right conditions, a trained arborist can prune your trees outside of these months.

In this post, we’ll discuss best practices for trimming oak trees, as well as other tips on taking care of these towering plants.

How To Trim Oak Trees

There are many benefits of pruning for healthy plant growth. For example, regularly trimming your oak trees removes dead, diseased and unwanted wood. End-weight reduction, a … Read Full Post »

How To Save A Dying Tree: A Closer Look At Tree Health

how to save a dying tree

Homeowners with mature trees typically love them for their shade, majestic beauty and the enhanced curb appeal and property value they provide. But if you have a tree that seems to be ailing, you may wonder how to save a dying tree. Many homeowners also wonder how to recognize the symptoms of a tree that is diseased or otherwise in need of help, so they can provide care before it’s too late.

There are a number of different diseases that can infect a tree’s branches, roots or foliage. So many, in fact, that you may need the help of a professional who specializes in trees to give you an accurate assessment of your tree’s health. The good news is, most tree diseases cause a range of visible symptoms that can serve as warning signs, enabling homeowners to intervene on behalf of the tree’s health. The not-so-good … Read Full Post »

Benefits Of Pruning For Healthy Plant Growth

Benefits of pruning

Trees might be the oldest, largest living organisms on Earth, but they’re not invincible. For a tree to live a long, healthy life in an urban environment, these plants need some human assistance.

Outside of their natural growing environment in the wild, trees often require pruning for them to improve clearance, develop a durable structure and maintain their aesthetics.

Pruning helps a plant exhibit its most desirable attributes. Many plants—including spring-flowering plants like spirea, viburnums, weigela and strawberry bush, as well as summer-flowering plants like roses, hibiscus and crape myrtle—stand to benefit greatly from proper pruning.

How so?

Pruning promotes health by enabling you to get rid of sickly or diseased plant parts. Trimming also helps with insect management. Lastly, removing dead or dying branches or stems enhances the beauty of your plants.

Here’s the bad news: improper pruning could potentially cause severe damage that can, in the most severe cases, contribute to the death … Read Full Post »

Fast Growing Trees: Which Types Best Fit Your Needs?

Fast growing trees

When you moved into your home, you realized that you had a lot of room to grow—quite literally—in the tree department. You probably expected that over time, your trees would provide you with much-needed shade on a hot summer day, a reduction in your utility bills and an improvement to your curb appeal.

So, what if that wasn’t the case? What if you now want to make up lost time so that you can enjoy the benefits of having trees on your property?

Below, we will explore which fast-growing trees tend to grow the best in southern states—USDA Zones 6-10—and divide them up by type. We’ll also provide you with important information about what conditions create optimal growth so that you can add these valuable plants to your landscape.

Fast-Growing Trees For Privacy

One of the biggest reasons people graduate from apartments to houses is to get more privacy. While a fence is nice, … Read Full Post »

Tree Crowning: Is It Good Idea Or A Mistake?

Tree crowning

One of the things that drew you to your home was the beautiful trees. Perhaps you’ve never really had much of a green thumb, so you left the trees to their own devices. So far, that hasn’t been a problem.

Recently, though, you’ve noticed that those gorgeous trees have gotten a bit out of control. Where once they were uniform and well-manicured, now there are random branches jutting out here and there, giving your trees a ragged, lop-sided appearance.

You’ve considered dragging yourself up on your ladder to cut the offending branches. You’ve heard there is a technique called “tree crowning”, but you’re not really sure exactly how to do it—or even whether it would be a good thing to do.

The most important thing we can convey is that tree crowning is very rarely recommended by reputable lawn care experts. Although it may achieve your aesthetic goals, tree crowning will often damage … Read Full Post »