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Archive for the ‘Tree’ Category

What to Do When a Neighbor Complains About Your Tree

Friday, December 20th, 2019

Issues with your neighbors involving trees on your property? You’d be surprised just how often this happens here in the Pacific Northwest. While every home has property lines, trees are wild organisms bound by no property line. This results in trees that bend and wind their way through 2 (or in some cases more) properties. 

Read on if you’re enduring a squabble with a neighbor or are just curious about your rights as a landowner. 

First, what you need to know about tree law

Whoever owns the trunk owns the tree

In all 50 states, the owner of a tree is always the property owner with the tree trunk on their property. Even if a tree mostly resides on another property, wherever the trunk comes out of the ground is the person who gets to make decisions, and has responsibility for, the tree.

This property owner gets to decide if it’s cut down, maintained, and otherwise altered. They’re also responsible for maintaining the tree in a proper and safe condition. 


If branches encroach on your property, you can cut them down

While you cannot alter a tree in any way that can compromise the health of the tree if it’s not yours, you can trim a tree down to your property line. This lets you keep the tree out of the way of your yard and prevents it from taking up too much space on your property.

Under no circumstances can you completely cut down a tree that does not reside on your property. This can lead to monetary damages totaling over $50k in extreme cases! 


The fruit of a tree belongs to the owner of the tree

If your neighbor’s fruit tree hangs over onto your property, the fruit belongs squarely to them. While legally fruit that drops onto your property is a legal gray area, fruit cannot be picked off of the tree and harvested for yourself. 

Hopefully, any situation where your neighbor’s tree is hanging onto your property will allow for an arrangement to be made where you can be allowed some fruit.


Damage payments can only be from negligence

Damage from a tree on someone else’s property can only be recuperated if appropriate actions were not taken to maintain the tree. If a tree branch simply just falls down during a particularly brutal storm, this will likely not be covered.

If the tree’s roots or branches spread onto a property and cause damage, this can potentially be covered. This is especially true if it’s argued the tree is not wild, but a planted tree.

Additionally, if the tree has not been taken care of and is a hazard in and of itself, any damage caused by falling branches or a falling tree can hold the property owner liable. 


What to do if a neighbor complains about a tree on your property

You never like to see 2 neighbors fighting, but relationships with trees can cause big issues. This makes sense given the importance of trees on the value of a property. Just think — a tree can create shade for your home while simultaneously blocking natural light in another, affecting 2 home values at once.

Some common disputes over trees in residential situations include: 

  • Branches are encroaching onto a property
  • Shade from the tree is blocking sunlight on q property
  • Tree in danger of falling onto a home

So what’s the best way to handle a situation where your neighbor is giving you a hard time about your tree?


Talk to your neighbor

The first thing you should always do is speak with your neighbor to see if there is a reasonable solution to the situation.

For instance, maybe the request is simply to trim the tree in a way that will be inconsequential to you. If this is the case, then you can avoid a large headache and solve the issue with a simple solution.

Another option is if you don’t mind if your tree is altered, you just don’t want to pay for it. There are likely solutions that can be worked out where your neighbor can pay for the work that needs to be done and the issue settled. 

In more extreme cases, private financial agreements can be negotiated so that both parties feel made whole.


Hold your ground if you like your tree

One thing that should absolutely never happen is for you to feel pressured to alter your tree or cut it down for an unreasonable request. 

Besides adding a beautiful landscape element to your home and being good for the environment, trees add value to your property. Simply cutting it down to appease a neighbor is not a good solution. 

If the tree comes out of the ground on your property, what happens to it is your decision. 


Talk to an expert and know the law

If your neighbor wants the tree cut down or maintained in a certain way that seems off to you, talk to an expert. While in all likelihood you are the one in control of the situation, speaking to an expert will provide you with knowledge and knowhow on how to responsibly handle disputes that develop with your neighbor.

This will allow you to defend your rights and your property’s value in the best and most effective way possible. They can also potentially provide you with options and solutions for de-escalating the situation and finding a way for everybody to win.


If they illegally hurt your tree, consider legal action

If things progress to a point where your neighbor has damaged your tree more than is their right, consider legal action to make things right.

As already discussed, trees add monetary value to not only your property, but your life as well. Anyone who damages that value should have to pay to make up for your loss. While most trees have a replacement value around $2,500, trees that are historically significant, landmark trees, or ornamental trees can carry replacement values over $50K


Maintain it to a reasonable condition

No matter what, maintaining any trees on your property will ultimately cause fewer issues with your neighbors and potentially even stop these issues from happening at all. It also protects you in the event your tree causes harm to a home in the future and is good for the long-term health and value of your tree.

At NW Arbor Culture, we help Portland-area homeowners keep their trees in tip-top shape and healthy for life. Contact us today to see how we can help you.


Need help maintaining your tree? NW Arbor Culture can help! 

Whether you need to cut down your tree, maintain it, or just need a consultant on what the best course of action to take with your dispute, our arborists can help you through your conflict.

Contact us today to learn more and get started. 

Category Tree

Do Healthy Trees Increase Property Value? Let Us Count the Ways!

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019



They say money doesn’t grow on trees. While you won’t be plucking Benjamins from your branches anytime soon, planting trees on your property does add tremendous value to your home.

The financial benefit of trees goes beyond visual value (though that’s certainly part of it). There are other intrinsic and tangible benefits to Oregon homeowners of having healthy, beautiful trees on their property. Learn all about it!


1. Increased home resale value

Let’s start by breaking down the monetary impact healthy trees have on the resale value of your property.

  • According to the Council of Tree and Landscapers Approval, a healthy and mature tree often has an appraised value between $1,000 and $10,000.
  • The Arbor National Mortgage & American Forests reports that for homes listed for over $250,000, a healthy and mature tree can positively impact buyer interest by up to 98%.
  • Specifically here in the PNW, a tree in front of the house can increase a home’s sales price by an average of $7,130.
  • A Management Information Services study revealed that landscaping with healthy trees can increase property value by 20%.
  • Spending just 5% of your home’s value on improving your landscaping—including adding trees—can have an ROI of as much as 150%.


2. Added beauty


Well-kept trees make a home look more attractive. It’s what’s known as curb appeal and it can make or break the overall look and style of your property.

The term curb appeal specifically refers to the way your home looks to someone standing on the street curb. While this is important for your own enjoyment and likability of your home, it’s even more important to a potential buyer.


3. Reduced noise & greater safety

Beyond just looking nice, trees offer some practical benefits. Trees offer protection from wind, rain, and most importantly, neighborhood noise. One study by North Carolina State University found that a strategically placed tree can block noise by as much as 40%!

Trees can also provide privacy for your family activities, either in place of or as a pleasant addition to a fence.

Surprisingly, houses with trees on the property also act a natural deterrent for crime and violence. Studies show that

  • Property crimes are less frequent when there are trees and more abundant vegetation around a house.
  • Nearby trees and natural landscapes lead to 25% fewer acts of domestic aggression and violence.
  • Trees in a public right-of-way are generally associated with a reduction in crime.


4. Greater foundational stability

A tree-lined property or even just one or two mature trees can work to strengthen the foundation of your property. Tree roots add stability to the soil around your house, keeping erosion in check.

They also help soak up excess moisture and stop run off and act as a pollutant filtration, which is particularly helpful for homes situated near slopes or riverbeds.


5. Amazing green energy benefits


Trees around your property help conserve resources and benefit the environment.

First of all, trees absorb carbon dioxide and convert it into fresh oxygen. In fact, just 2 trees put out more oxygen than you’ll ever consume! And as we mentioned above, trees contribute to a healthy ecosystem by managing stormwater, pollutants, and conserving soil and water.

Trees can also help cut energy use in your home. According to the USDA Forest Service, trees can reduce the need for air conditioning by 30%. It can also save you 20-30% in heating costs!

The US Department of Energy suggests that just 3 properly placed trees can end up saving you a total of $100 to $250 every year in energy costs.


6. Increased wellbeing

Trees improve overall home life and enjoyability of your property. They provide shade and privacy for your outdoor parties or summer BBQs. They also provide a great playground for kids as a place to hang a tire swing, build a treehouse, or climb.

If you have fruit trees, they also provide a fresh snack to enjoy with your family or community. And overall, studies show that residents of homes surrounded by trees have a stronger sense of community and better relationships with their neighbors.


Does it matter what species of tree you plant?

Now that you’ve learned how beneficial trees are to the value of your home, you may be wondering if certain trees are better than others.

The answer is…not really! Other than fruit trees, which provide additional value if you harvest and eat the fruit or donate it through the Portland Fruit Tree Project, there aren’t any specific tree species proven to increase property value.

The key is to ensure the trees on your property are healthy and well cared for. And the older a tree, the better!


When trees can hurt the value of your property


There is one caveat to all the above…and that’s if you have unhealthy and damaged trees on your property.

You need to take care of your trees, and that means…

There may come a time when it makes more financial sense to remove a tree than keep it. Some signs that you need to talk to an arborist about tree removal are…

  • The tree is hanging over your roof and causing damage (hopefully it just needs to be pruned)
  • The tree is closer than 15 feet from your home (this may be a liability)
  • The tree roots have gone wild and are now disrupting your foundation
  • The tree is diseased or has a severe pest infestation
  • The tree is dead


Have questions about the trees on your property? Ask an arborist!

When you have questions about the trees around your Oregon home, we want to be your first call. Our master gardeners and ISA-Certified Arborists are always ready to help.

Learn more about some of the most common tree question we hear, or reach out today!


Category Landscaping, Tree

What are the Best Fruit Trees to Plant in Portland?

Friday, February 15th, 2019


Interested in making a fruitful investment into your home and life? Plant a fruit tree on your property! Planting fruit trees has many benefits:

  • Adds natural beauty
  • Increases the value of your home
  • Provides privacy
  • Offers a strong root system around your house to help hold soil in place
  • Contributes to lower blood-pressure and improved overall psychological and emotional health
  • Provides delicious fruit for you and your family to enjoy!

As the Portland area’s full-service tree care provider, we often get asked about planting fruit trees and what varieties grow best in this area. The good news is, when it comes to the type of fruit you can grow, Portland is ripe with opportunity.

Keep reading for a complete guide to the best type of fruit trees to grow in Portland.



Apple trees thrive in wet, mild climates, so it’s no surprise that our state produces roughly 125 million pounds of this crunchy and delicious fruit every year!

There are thousands of apple varieties that are grown in Oregon, so you have a lot of options to choose from, including…

  • Fuji
  • Gala
  • Honeycrisp
  • Braeburn

Just think of all the wonderful fall-themed dishes, desserts, and drinks you can make fresh from your yard!



Is there anything more iconic than a bowl full of cherries from the PNW? This candy-like fruit is an Oregon favorite. And there’s nothing quite as stunning as a cherry tree in the spring. Many people plant cherry trees on their property just to witness their blossoms!

The most popular types of cherries to grow here in Portland are…

  • Bing
  • Sweetheart
  • Royal Ann
  • Rainier



Did you know that pears are Oregon’s official state fruit? In fact, 84% of pears grown in the US come from the area. Warm days, cool nights, and easy access to plenty of water and rich, volcanic soil provide an environment that’s perfect for pears to grow and thrive on your Portland property.

The most popular pear varieties grown here in this are include…

  • Anjou
  • Bartlett
  • Bosc
  • Concorde



Plum trees typically produce fruit for several weeks during the summer and are a unique fruit to grow on your property — particularly if you enjoy making jams and jellies!

Favorite types of plums grown here in Oregon are…

  • Italian prunes
  • Empress
  • Santa Rosa
  • Shiro



Their tropical look might fool you into believing they belong in jungle, but the truth is that figs grow wonderfully here in the Pacific Northwest! In fact, they’re a backyard favorite for many.

Like all types of fruit trees, pruning fig trees takes some special care, but other than that, this type of tree is fairly hardy and very easy to care for. Depending on the variety you choose, you may even get two crops in one year!



A sweet and juicy peach is a wonderful late summer treat. And though Oregon isn’t known for peaches in the way other states like Georgia are, peach trees do thrive here.

There are a few different types of peaches to look into, though for amateur gardeners, we recommend a variety that’s resistant to peach leaf curl, such as…

  • Avalon Pride
  • Frost
  • Salish Summer

You may even want to try planting a donut peach tree which are an extra fun variety of this fruit.


Where to plant a fruit tree

As you consider the type of fruit you want around your home, equally important is that you evaluate your property and understand where the best place to plant will be. Just as the type of tree affects where you choose to plant, the landscape of your property can affect the type of tree you choose.

Remember: A tree planted in the wrong place won’t grow properly and could potentially cause problems for your home.

We always recommend getting an arborist’s opinion on your property before making your final decisions, but here are a few things to consider:

  • It’s typically recommended to plant at least 10 feet from your home and 5 feet away from your fence or property line
  • What areas do you want more privacy?
  • Will planting in a certain spot block sunlight to your home?
  • What other plants and trees are already in your yard?
  • How is the soil on your property?
  • Does your property get direct sun? A lot of shade?


Fruit tree planting tips

Once you’ve chosen the type of tree and the location in your yard, it’s time to plant it! There are some important tips to make sure you give your tree a good start.

  • You typically want to plant in winter or early spring.
  • Dig a hole approximately 2 feet wide by 1.5 feet deep.
  • The top roots of the tree should not be buried more than 2 inches under the soil, as it can suffocate.
  • You generally want to prune the top of your tree as soon as its planted — usually a 1/4 or 1/2 of the top to balance the root to top ratio. Keep in mind though, if done incorrectly pruning can hurt your tree. Always consult an expert.

Once your tree is planted, make sure it gets plenty of water — around 3-5 gallons each week is needed for most young trees. Just be careful not to overwater!


Questions about planting fruit trees in PDX? Ask an arborist!

When it comes to tree care questions, we want to be your first call. Whether you have questions about what type of fruit tree will grow best in your yard, how to plant your tree, or need help with pruning, our master gardeners and ISA-Certified Arborists are always ready to help.

Ask away!



Category Tree, Tree Care

4 Common but Deadly Tree Diseases to Watch for in the PNW

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

Portland-area homeowners need to be aware of the common diseases and fungi that affect our local trees. Left alone, an infected tree can spread the disease to other trees on your property and invite bugs and pests. Plus, they just look bad.

Whether you’ve just noticed the trees around your property are unhealthy or you want to learn how to prevent disease and issues before they start, this blog post will help.

Keep reading to learn the most common and virulent tree diseases that affect trees in the Pacific Northwest (and what you can do to protect against them).


1. Phytophthora root rot

Phytophthora root rot is caused by poor drainage or overwatering in the soil around the tree. The tree becomes unable to absorb the moisture and nourishment it needs from the soil, causing the oxygen-starved roots to slowly die and decay.

In some trees, it can take years of suffering from this disease before it dies. In others, the tree may be killed within a single season.

Types of trees affected by root rot include:

  • Cherry
  • Dogwood
  • Holly
  • Madrone
  • Oak
  • Arborvitae
  • Cypress
  • Juniper
  • Port-Orford cedars
  • Pines
  • Firs
  • Apple
  • Peach


Signs and symptoms of root rot

A tree suffering from root rot will have an overall unhealthy appearance and reduced vigor. A good way to identify root rot include:

  • Poor growth
  • Small, pale leaves
  • Wilted or yellow leaves
  • A thinning canopy
  • Branch dieback

To identify root rot is truly the cause of your tree’s issue, an arborist will need to examine the root tissue a few inches below the soil line. Here’s how they’ll do that:

  • Carefully remove a small amount of outer bark tissue
  • Examine the inner wood, looking for discoloration
  • In advanced tree rot, the tree may have black, dead tissue and a foul smell

How to prevent root rot

Preventing root rot starts with good soil drainage. Avoid overwatering and creating irrigation moats to keep water from pooling against the trunk. Proper care and drainage is particularly important for young trees, as they are especially vulnerable due to underdeveloped root systems and crowns.

How to treat root rot

Since it can take years to notice root rot in a tree, by the time you notice an issue, it may be too late. However, moderately affected trees can sometimes be saved by a professional arborist, who will carefully prune out the infected roots.

If a tree is significantly infected, the best way to control the rot from spreading to other trees on your property is to remove the tree entirely.


2. Verticillium wilt

Verticillium wilt is a serious fungal disease affecting many important trees in the Pacific Northwest. This disease lives in the soil and invades trees through their roots. As it spreads through the branches, it causes the cells of the tree to “plug” themselves. The tree will eventually become so infected that water can no longer reach the leaves.

The most common tree species affected by Verticillium wilt include:

  • Maple
  • Ash
  • Walnut
  • Box elder
  • Oak
  • Linden
  • And more


Signs and symptoms of Verticillium wilt

One common sign of Verticillium (especially in maple trees) is yellow-green streaks. This doesn’t automatically guarantee that the tree has Verticillium. A few other signs may include:

  • One or more branches on one side of the tree suddenly wilt
  • The leaves may appear yellow before the wilt
  • A decline in new twig growth
  • Increase in dead twigs and branches
  • Internally, the tree may have discolored sapwood in the recent annual rings

While these are a few signs to look out for, only a professional examination can positively diagnose the disease in your tree.

How to prevent Verticillium wilt

Verticillium typically only appears in trees that are already damaged or otherwise stressed. So regular care and pruning of dead branches is recommended to maintain the tree’s overall vigor and health.

Since this and other diseases can be transmitted on pruning tools, we always recommend hiring a professional arborist that knows how to properly sterilizes tools before use.

How to treat Verticillium wilt

Unfortunately, this type of disease is incurable. Once present, it will live in the tree forever, eventually killing the tree. The good news is, with proper care from a professional arborist, you can preserve the tree and continue to enjoy it for several more years.

However, depending on the location of your tree and what types of trees and plants are nearby, it may be recommended to remove the tree and replace it with something that is not susceptible to Verticillium.


3. Anthracnose

Anthracnose is a fungal disease that infects shade trees, causing leaf spots, cupping or curling of leaves, and early leaf drop. Mild winter weather combined with wind and rain in the spring increases the presence of this disease, making Anthrancnose a very common problem here in the Portland area.

While this disease typically won’t kill a tree, it can reduce growth and it hurt the overall appearance of the tree.

The most common types of shade trees affected by Anthracnose include:

  • Dogwood
  • London planetree
  • American sycamore
  • Ash
  • Oak
  • Maple
  • Walnut


Signs and symptoms of Anthracnose

Signs of this disease are fairly simple to catch, however the exact symptoms may manifest differently depending on the species of your tree.

The best way to notice problems is to examine the leaves of the tree. Look for…

  • Brown and irregular shaped spots
  • Distorted, cupped, or curled leaves
  • Minor insect feeding wounds
  • Leaves that are most affected on the lower and inner branches of the tree

How to prevent Anthracnose

The best way to prevent Anthracnose is to keep your tree healthy, as this will help it defend against the disease. Proper care includes providing appropriate levels of water and fertilizer, having your trees inspected every few years, and hiring a professional pruner.

How to treat

Immediately removing fallen leaves and twigs from around the tree and your yard is a great way to reduce the next year’s outbreak. You should also have a professional prune away dead twigs and branches from the crown of the tree, which will facilitate better air flow in the canopy.

In serious and repeat cases, your arborist may recommend a fungicide treatment. This treatment is typically best administered in the spring.


4. Bronze Birch Borer & Emerald Ash Borer

These two types of Beetles are very common in the PNW and can wreak havoc on your beloved birch and ash trees. The damage done by these beetles can be severe and deadly. These beetles bore into the wood of the tree and feed on its interior tissue. They will create intricate tunnels inside the tree. They also feed on the tree’s leaves and foliage.

Signs and symptoms of a beetle infestation

The first sign of infestation is typically sparse, stunted, and yellowing leaves at the tree canopy. Eventually, the branches will lose their leaves. Take a close examination of the tree’s bark and leaves and you may also find…

  • Holes and splits in the bark
  • New branches and leaves sprouting from the trunk of the tree or at the base
  • Larvae feeding beneath the bark of the tree
  • Increased woodpecker feeding
  • You can often spot beetles moving around the sunny side of a tree. Bronze Birch Beetles are olive brown in color while the Emerald Ash borer is a metalix color.

How to prevent tree borers

There’s no easy way to protect your trees against these pests. Start by properly caring for your tree, including watering when it’s dry, fertilizing correctly, and booking regular tree inspections.If you have birch or ash trees on your property, you should also talk to your arborist about possible preventive chemical treatments.

How to treat a borer infestation

Once you spot symptoms of beetles, it’s usually too late to save the tree. Likely, the tree will need to be removed. Left for too long, the tree can weaken and may fall on its own, damaging your property, so don’t wait. Always seek immediate help from a professional arborist.


Does your tree look unhealthy? Schedule an inspection today

Here at Northwest Arbor-Culture Inc., we specialize in helping homeowners in the Portland and Vancouver area maintain safe, healthy, and aesthetically beautiful trees.

If you’re worried about the health of your trees, or it’s been a few years since you’ve schedule tree maintenance, give us a call at (503) 348-7642, Our ISA Certified Arborists® would be happy to take a look at your trees and also offer:

Our team of experienced arborists are here to make sure your trees stay healthy, and your home safe.


Chris Nash, Northwest Arbor-Culture Inc. from on Vimeo.

Category Pruning, Tree, Tree Care

How Tall is the Tallest Tree in Portland? (And Other Weird but True Oregon Tree Facts)

Friday, September 28th, 2018

Oregon has long been known for its towering forests with beautiful evergreen and deciduous trees. Here in Portland, we respect these tree so much that in 1993, the City Council passed the Heritage Tree code to promote and protect the finest trees in the region.

But what exactly is the big deal with Portland trees? Why are they such an important part of the city? Keep reading to learn some of the most interesting tree facts in Oregon and why, as a Portlander, it’s important to properly care for and maintain your trees.


1. The tallest tree in Portland is (probably) 242 feet high

Situated in Forest Park is a magnificent Douglas fir tree. The tree sits near Balch Creek and the park’s famous Stone House and has caught the wonder of many residents and visitors alike.

At 242 feet high and with a trunk circumference of 18.6 feet, this tree is a pretty cool sight to see.

Officially, the “tallest tree” title has not been given in Portland. However, this fabulous Douglas fir is thought by many local tree experts to be the largest tree in the city.


2. In the early 1850s, there were “more stumps than trees” in Portland

In 1847, Portland experienced phenomenal growth. Throughout the city, countless trees were being cut down to make way for roads. This was all happening so fast that most tree stumps were left behind until enough manpower could be spared to remove them.

In some areas, these stumps sat around for so long that locals painted them white to make them more visible. During rainy parts of the year, locals used the stumps as a sort of crosswalk, hopping from stump to stump to make it across the street without sinking into the mud,

It was during that time when one man mentioned that there were “more stumps than trees” in the city. Soon, people started referring to the city as “Stumptown.” The name stuck, and even today, Stumptown is a well-known Portland nickname.


3. Oregon still has 91% of the forests that covered the state in 1630

While Portland lost many of its original trees during the 1850s and again in 70s and 80s, Oregon at large has done a great job of maintaining the state’s forest land. In fact, approximately 91% of the forest land base that existed in Oregon in 1630 still exists today!

There have been changes — for instance, the location of forests — but about 28 million of the state’s original 30 million acre forest remains today. Pretty impressive!


4. Portland’s Lone Fir Cemetery was inspired after a true lone fir


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Located in Southeast Portland, Lone Fir Cemetery is one of Oregon’s most treasured historic places and Portland’s second-largest arboretum.

In 1866, the cemetery was named after a single fir tree that grew at the norwest end of the lot.
Today, more than 700 trees representing 67 species live in the cemetery, but the original lone fir still stands. At 85 feet high, the tree is immediately noticeable and very beautiful.


5. Oregon is the #1 producer of Christmas trees in the nation

Christmas trees are commercially grown in 44 states. However, with over 700 Christmas tree growers and about 42,000 acres dedicated to Christmas tree farming, Oregon tops the chart as the #1 producer of this holiday tradition.

In 2015, Christmas tee farming was a 84.5 million dollar industry in Oregon, with almost five million Christmas trees sold. In 2016, that number jumped to 5.2 million trees — well above the 3.5 million trees that came from North Carolina, the next largest producer of the crop.

As you might guess, the top-selling species of Christmas trees in Oregon is the Douglas fir — our state tree. But Noble fir, Grand fir, and Nordmann fir are also popular.


6. The world’s smallest park is in Portland (and it’s home to one little tree)


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Did you know Portland has the smallest park in the world?

Folklore says the park’s origin came when a man named Dick Fagan looked out his window and saw a leprechaun digging a hole in a street median where a light pole was to be place.

According to Fagan, he caught the leprechaun and wished for a park. However, he failed to specify the size of the park in his wish, so the leprechaun gave him the hole.

On St. Patrick’s Day in 1976, the hole became a city park, named Mills End. Located in the median strip of SW Naito Parkway with a total area of 452 square inches, the park is home to one single tree — a Douglas fir sapling.

In 2013, someone stole the park’s one and only tree. Thankfully, their conscience got the better of them, and they returned the little tree a week later.


7. Oregon’s weirdest-looking tree is a giant Sitka spruce

In Cape Meares, Oregon, there sits a massive Sitka spruce tree. This tree, lovingly named the Octopus Tree, features a handful of large branches that reach out about 16 feet from it’s 50-foot base. The result is a tree that strangely resembles giant tentacles.

As a bonus, Cape Meares is also home to the largest Sitka Spruce in the state, called the Big Spruce. This giant tree is 144 feet tall, 48 feet in circumference, and 15 ½ feet in diameter. The craziest part — the tree is estimated to be around 800 years old!


8. Ginkgo trees are popular in Portland — even though they smell like vomit!

Gingko trees line the streets of Portland areas like Northeast Irvington. In the fall, the fan-shaped leaves of these trees shine a brilliant shade of gold, making the entire neighborhood something to behold.

And yet, this color show comes at a cost — a horrible stench that fills the air.

After this hardy urban tree sheds its berries and leaves on the ground, they start to rot, emitting a smell that’s often likened to dirty gym socks or even vomit.

Still, for many, the colorful leaves are worth it.


9. Portland is trying to map all the trees in the city

Portland loves its trees so much, that the Urban Forestry Tree Inventory Project is attempting to map every single tree in Portland.

The map is an almost creepily specific guide to Portland’s trees. Type in any address (maybe even your own!) and the map will show you all the trees located in that area. If you’re not sure what type of trees are around your neighborhood, the map can be really helpful.


Give your Portland trees some love

Trees are closely integrated in Portland’s history and are a beautiful part of our day-to-day life here in Oregon.

If you have trees in your yard or around your property, make sure you give them special care and help preserve their fascinating (and sometimes a little strange) spot in our city’s society.

Regular tree trimming and pruning will ensure your trees stay healthy, look beautiful, and keep your home and family safe. We’re here to make that happen. Let us know how we can help.

Category Tree

Are Trees Dangerous to Kids & Pets?

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Don’t get us wrong— trees are amazing! They provide shade, prevent erosion, look beautiful, and grow for generations, just to name just a few of their incredible benefits. But homeowners in the Pacific Northwest should be aware of the risks trees pose to their kids — both human and furry.

In today’s blog post, our certified tree experts will show you how your trees can hurt your kids and your pets. You’ll also learn how to avoid these dangers and much more.


Climbing and falling

When George Mallory was asked why he climbed Mt. Everest, he famously replied, “because it’s there.” Many kids have the same philosophy when it comes to climbing trees. But parents should be watchful and mindful of the danger posed by falls from even small trees.

Over 100 people are killed every year by falls from trees. While most of these deaths are the result of on-the-job accidents, many kids fall victim as well. Thousands more suffer bumps, bruises, and more serious injuries like broken bones and concussions.

The best thing to do is discourage your child from climbing any tree. Not only is it dangerous to kids but it can damage the trees’ bark and branches, too.


Broken branches and other debris

Here in the Portland area, severe weather can damage a tree, leading to falling branches and even complete collapse of the tree itself. Both are incredibly dangerous situations that can affect both kids and pets. Don’t let your kids, cats, or dogs play outside under trees after:

  • Snowstorms – Ice and snow can weigh down and weaken branches.
  • High winds – Wind storms can snap off tree branches and leave them dangling precariously and ready to fall at any time.
  • Rainy weather – Oversaturated ground can cause even healthy trees to topple over by destabilizing the root system.
  • Heat waves – Hot weather can make branches brittle and more likely to snap off. Long periods of hot dry weather can also affect a tree’s stability and overall health.

The best thing you can to do to protect your family and your trees is to have them regularly inspected and pruned by certified tree experts like those at Northwest Arbor Culture.


Think you know the answer? You might be surprised.
Our experts share what they’ve learned from years of responding to emergency tree service calls.

Read the Post


Insects & Pests

Living trees and old tree stumps can be host to swarms of bees, ants, spiders, and other critters. Cats, dogs, and kids can all be hurt by insect stings and bites. In some cases, a sting or bite can lead to life-threatening allergic reactions. At the very least, ant bites and wasp stings can be very painful!

If you have a dead tree in your yard, have it removed for the safety of your entire family. Keep an eye on living trees for signs of pest infestations like:

  • Visible wasp nests
  • Damage to leaves or bark by insects
  • Unusual growths

Remember that insect infestations can affect the health of the tree, too.


Toxic trees

Most species of trees in Oregon don’t pose a direct threat to kids or most pets. However, horses can be poisoned by:

  • Black walnut trees
  • Maple trees
  • Yew trees (also toxic to humans)

However, just to be safe, keep your kids from eating any leaves or bark from trees. Bark and leaves may contain bacteria, fungus, or other potential hazards.



We specialize in pre-purchase tree inspections. By assessing the health of your trees you may be able to negotiate a lower purchase price by identifying potentially costly problems like:

  • Invasive root systems
  • Decayed and rotting trees
  • Diseased trees

Call us today to learn more: (503) 538-8733



The most serious risk comes not from the trees themselves, but from toxic mushrooms that grow nearby. The shaded and moist ground near the base of a tree makes an ideal habitat for many extremely dangerous mushrooms.

NEVER eat a mushroom you find in your yard unless you are an experienced mushroom forager and know exactly what it is. Many toxic mushrooms are easily confused with mushrooms that are perfectly safe. In Oregon, the most dangerous forms of mushrooms include:

  • Death Cap Mushroom – Can cause liver and kidney failure and death
  • Deadly Galerina – Affects the nervous system and kidneys
  • False Morel – So-named because of its similarity to the delicious Morel, this mushroom can cause diarrhea, dizziness, and even death
  • Destroying Angel – This deadly mushroom contains amatoxins which lead to a slow and painful death

We can’t say this enough: Wild mushrooms can be very dangerous. Keep an eye on your kids and pets to make sure they’re not ingesting them.


How to care for your trees

You can minimize the danger presented to kids and pets by caring for your trees. Here’s a few of our top tree care tips:

  1. Have your trees inspected – Your trees need a check-up to make sure they’re healthy and strong.
  2. Trim and prune large trees – Proper trimming and pruning actually helps improve the tree’s health and longevity.
  3. Remove dead or dying trees – Dead and dying trees are likely to fall or drop branches leading to injuries and possibly even damage to your home.
  4. Water and mulch regularly – Mulch insulates your tree and provides valuable nutrients. Younger trees especially need extra water to take hold and stay healthy. This is very important during the dry summer months here in the Portland area.


Need help with your trees?

portland arborist nw arbor culture

Contact us today for a free estimate from a Certified Arborist.

We’ll take a look at your trees and help you create a tree care and pruning plan that works for you and your family. We’ve been working in the Portland area for decades and there’s no tree service in Portland more committed to customer service than Northwest Arbor Culture.

We’re here to help!

Category Tree, Tree Care

How to Care For a Young Tree

Friday, April 13th, 2018

Do you have a small tree in your Portland yard? Maybe you had a fruit tree planted after moving into your new home, or you’ve had a few new trees planted to reduce erosion. Whatever the reason, if you have a young tree in your yard it needs a little TLC and special attention to thrive.

In today’s post, we’ll talk about how to care for a young tree in your Portland yard. We’ll also share the biggest mistakes homeowners make when caring for smaller trees.


Planning on planting? Read this first.

If you’re thinking about planting a young tree in your yard, there’s a lot to consider. Take a look at these recent articles written by our tree care experts to help you get started.


What comes next?

Once a tree is planted, proper care during the first 5 years of its life is critical. During this time, you need to monitor your young tree to make sure it’s:

  • Getting enough (but not too much) water
  • Safe from damage by bugs or weather
  • Receiving the nutrients it needs and isn’t competing with other plants
  • Pruned and trimmed regularly


Need help with a young tree? We’re here to help.

Read more about our tree services and meet our team of certified arborists and tree experts.




Is your tree getting enough water or too much? Either extreme can be harmful. Here’s what you need to know about watering young trees:

  1. Your sprinklers aren’t enough. Young trees need to develop deep roots for stability and long-term health. Lawn sprinklers don’t provide enough water and encourage the growth of roots near the surface. Depending on the time of year, you may need to supplement your tree’s water supply.
  2. Monitor soil moisture. The soil around your tree should be damp, but not sopping wet. Dig down about 6”. The amount of moisture at the very surface of the soil is less crucial.
  3. Add mulch. Mulching near a young tree (leave an open space of 6-8” from base of the trunk) can help conserve water.
  4. Water deeply.Deep watering” young trees is the best way to deliver water where your trees need it most. Focus on watering slowly, allowing a smaller amount of water to soak deeply into the soil.


Winter, spring & fall

During the Portland area’s rainy months, your young trees will likely get enough water naturally. However, if it’s really rainy, watch out for standing puddles of water near the base of the tree. If you see puddles of standing water, get your trees inspected! There may also be drainage issues in your yard that need to be addressed.

This is the most common sign of a tree that’s getting too much water!



Most summers, the Portland area is very dry and your tree will need extra water. Be on the lookout for these signs your tree isn’t getting enough water:

  • Yellowed or curling leaves
  • Leaves that drop before fall
  • Soil that’s extremely dry and dusty


Weeds, plants, pests, and people

Don’t overlook other threats to your trees! Young trees don’t have the same defenses as mature trees and are more susceptible to damage from a variety of sources.

It’s very important to keep weeds away from the base of younger trees. Plants (even grass from your lawn) will compete with your tree for nutrients and water. Keeping the area around your tree clear of any weeds or plants is crucial for a healthy young tree.

Manual weeding and mulching are the best ways to keep weeds and plants from encroaching on a growing tree. Avoid the use of herbicides or pesticides as these can contain toxins that’ll damage a young tree.

Pests can be especially damaging to smaller trees. Infestations can take hold easier and do more damage. Watch for signs of insects like aphids, beetles, and ants so you can take action before it’s too late!

People are a big threat to growing trees, too! Maturing trees have softer bark and are more susceptible to damage from lawn mowers and weed eaters. Even a little damage to the bark of a young tree can hurt its ability to grow and remain healthy.



Strong winds are especially dangerous to young trees. Their root systems are not fully developed and they may be more likely to fall or be pulled out of the ground during winter storms. Newly planted trees are also more likely to be damaged by frost and ice than older more established trees.

But believe it or not, ice can actually protect younger, smaller trees. During shorter cold spells, ice can act like a blanket, insulating the tree’s branches from colder ambient temperatures.



Sunscald happens during colder months when tree bark gets hot from the sun, and then rapidly freezes at night.

To prevent it:

  • Wrap the trunk with a tree wrap or plastic tree guard
  • Keep the wrap on the tree until early spring
  • If your tree experiences sunscald damage (which appears as elongated, sunken, dried or cracked areas of bark), cut back the dead bark until you reach live tissue



During very windy weather, young trees with flexible trunks may benefit from staking. But don’t stake it too tightly. Your tree should still be able to sway freely without bending so far that it might pull out of the ground.


When to start trimming & pruning

Young trees need to be pruned! It helps them to build a strong structure. If you wait too long to prune your trees, branches may become too heavy and deform the tree. When our tree experts prune and trim young trees, we focus on removing:

  • Dead, diseased, or damaged branches
  • Lower branches encouraging growth of the crown
  • Crossing branches
  • Multiple leaders, especially on evergreens

DON’T FORGET: If an older tree’s canopy is covering a newly planted tree it must be trimmed back. Young trees need plenty of sunlight to grow.


Questions about your young trees?

If you have young trees in your yard, we’d love to come out and take a look. Our certified arborists and tree experts can inspect your trees and suggest a pruning plan. We can also remove older trees and even help with the landscaping of your yard.

Call us today at (503) 538-8733 to learn more.

How to Protect Your Trees From Extreme PNW Weather

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

How to protect your trees from extreme weather

Crippling winter storms, bitter-cold temperatures, increased rainfall, record-high temperatures…here in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve seen it all. In fact, one report named the Pacific Northwest the country’s most extreme weather region in 2017!

As you’d expect, extreme weather conditions can cause problems for trees in Oregon and Washington. Broken branches, root damage, bug problems, and fallen trees are common. Do you know how to protect your trees (and your house and family) during inclement weather?

Keep reading to find out!

Have questions about caring for your trees? Ask our certified arborists!

Keep Some Tools on Hand

Protecting your trees from inclement weather starts with preparation. Whether you have just one or two trees on your property, or live in a heavily wooded area, keeping your garage or shed stocked with a few important tree care tools is important.

Aim to always have the following tools on hand:

  • Pruner
  • Garden stakes
  • Burlap or tarp
  • Stakes
  • Heavy twine
  • Sharp knife
  • Mulch
  • Hose

Keep in mind that working on your trees can be dangerous. If you are dealing with a large tree, or your trees need extensive pruning or care, always call a professional.


Plant Trees When They’re Small

When it comes to handling high winds and strong rain, you want your trees to have deep, sturdy roots. As you’re adding new trees to your property, it may be tempting to choose a fully-grown tree. However, planting a smaller tree is usually better choice.

Smaller trees will grab onto your soil and develop healthy root systems more easily than large trees. Furthermore, starting small allows you to keep the tree properly pruned (and thus more structurally sound) from the beginning.

Though starting small is great strategy for building up a strong tree, keep in mind that young trees are more susceptible to weather damage.


How to Protect Young Trees from Weather Damage

There are a few steps you’ll need to take to keep small trees safe from the elements.

Here’s what you should to do protect young trees from the cold

  • Step 1: Cover your tree with burlap, tarp, or a sheet that extends to the ground. This will help trap the earth’s warmth. You may need to use a frame or stakes to minimize contact between the cover and your tree.
  • Step 2: Water your tree well. Though it may seem counterintuitive, keeping your tree well-watered will help it absorb more solar radiation than dry soil and help it stay warm at night.
  • Step 3: After a freeze avoid pruning the tree until warmer weather.

Young trees are also very susceptible to sun scald. Sun scald usually happens during colder months and occurs when tree bark gets hot from the sun, and then rapidly freezes off when the sun disappears at night.

Here’s how to prevent sun scald on young trees:

  • Wrap the tree trunk with a tree wrap, plastic tree guard, or any light-colored material
  • Keep the wrap on the tree through the late fall through early spring
  • If your tree experiences sun scald damage (which appears as elongated, sunken, dried or cracked areas of bark), cut back the dead bark until you reach live tissue


Give Your Tree Room to Grow

Something else to consider when planting trees is how large they will eventually grow. If your species of Oregon tree will grow to have a wide canopy, don’t plant them too close together. You don’t want your trees to have lots of overlapping branches once it’s fully-grown, as this makes it more susceptible to weather damage.

You also need to give your tree plenty of ground space. Did you know that roots can occupy an area 4 to 7 times the surface area occupied by the top of your tree? Your tree needs room to grow deep roots and become sturdy enough to weather any storm.


Wrap Your Trunks

Although young trees are much more susceptible to weather damage, thin-barked trees can experience cold-weather damage as well. Common thin-barked species include linden, ash, and maple trees.

For these types of trees, or young trees that are very tall, there’s no need to cover the entire tree. Instead, you should just focus on wrapping the trunk.

How to Wrap a Tree Trunk

  • Use a thick, brown paper. Trunk wrapping material can be found at your nearest hardware store.
  • Start at the bottom! If you wrap from the top down, the overlaps will be facing upwards, making it easier for moisture to sneak in.
  • Bury the end of the wrap in the soil. After it’s secured in the ground, start wrapping upwards in a shingle effect. Wrap it only as far as the lowest branches, then loosely secure with tape or twine.
  • Don’t leave the wrap on for too long. This can trap moisture and cause pest problems. Here in the Pacific Northwest, keeping your tree wrapped from November through March is usually fine.


Prune Proactively

how to properly prune your trees

Regular tree pruning is the best way to manage the health of your trees. It’s also important for preventing damage (to your home and property and to the tree) during extreme weather. There are a few specific types of weather-proofing trimming you should consider for your trees.

Wind Sailing

Wind sailing is a type of trimming that entails removing select branches from your tree’s crown so it can bend and move more easily in the wind. This in turn prevents breakage of its roots and stem. This pruning method is best for deciduous trees.


This method of pruning focuses on all the major deadwood in your tree. Removing deadwood is good for your tree’s health and greatly reduces the chance of it breaking and falling during extreme weather.

Standard Trim

A standard trim focuses on thinning out your tree and removing excess growth. This method of pruning also raises and steadies the canopy of your tree. All these things will help reduce liabilities during extreme weather by encouraging proper balance throughout the entire stem of your tree.


Don’t Be Afraid to Get Help!

portland arborist nw arbor culture

If despite your best efforts your trees have taken a hit after cold weather or storm and aren’t doing well, seek help from a professional. In fact, especially when it comes to pruning, it’s always better to get the help of an accredited, certified Portland arborist.

An Arborist is your tree’s doctor and can help you not only fix an issue, but prevent problems from occurring in the first place.

Here at Northwest Arbor Culture, we’ve been helping homeowners care for their trees through extreme weather conditions for over 17 years. We offer the full spectrum of professional tree services and are committed to helping you understand how to properly care for your trees and protect your property.


We’ve helped hundreds of Portland homeowners protect their trees from extreme weather damage!

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6 Tree Care Tips for PNW Homeowners

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

Since you live in the Pacific Northwest, there’s a good chance you have many trees around your home. While these trees may not require as much care and attention as your flower beds or garden, you don’t want to just ignore them!

Taking some time twice a year to give your trees a little TLC will ensure they continue to increase your curb appeal, provide a pleasant landscape for you to enjoy, and not endanger your home.

Keep reading to learn the most important tree maintenance tips from our arbor experts.


First Things First: Know Your Trees

Here in Oregon and Washington, there are a wide variety of beautiful tree species. As you can probably guess, these different types of trees require different care.

Do you know what kind of trees you have on your property? Here at Northwest Arbor Culture, we are happy to help you identify the type of trees living around your home. The Arbor Day Foundation also has an easy-to-use tool for identifying trees.

Once you’ve honed in on the type of trees you’re living with, you should aim to learn the unique needs of each species. A few things to make a note of include:

  • How much water the tree needs and its preferred soil type
  • Whether or not the tree is drought tolerant
  • Any unique stressors, such as a low tolerance to high winds or overwatering



Make Sure Your Trees Get Enough Water

Here in the rainy Pacific Northwest, most trees get plenty of natural water. However, during the summer you may need to give your trees some extra help as an extended drought combined with sunny days is an easy way to kill off your trees.

Make sure you’re giving your trees a good soak a few times throughout the summer. This will ensure your tree and its soil remains healthy. During the winter, on the other hand, you can let your trees sit dormant.

The only exception would be if your tree has been recently planted within the last year. In this case, you’ll want to encourage its growth by making sure it has enough water. A good rule of thumb is that your new tree needs 5 gallons (1.5 inches of rainfall) every week.


Mulch A Few Times a Year

If you’re not familiar, mulch is made of decaying leaves or bark and is used to enrich and/or insulate the soil of your tree. Mulch will not only help protect your tree and its roots from distress, it also looks great.

A new layer of mulch placed around your tree a few times a year will keep soil moist and control weeds. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to use the correct amount. Too much mulch piled up around your tree can cause trunk rot and disease. Too little will defeat the purpose of the mulch in the first place.

How to Apply Mulch Around Your Tree

When applying mulch, the most important thing is to avoid choking your tree. Leave some space around the tree trunk, starting the mulch about 3-6 inches away from the base. Make about a 3-foot circle of mulch around your tree, about 3 inches deep

What Kind of Mulch is Best?

Only use mulch from a reputable source. Avoid just taking some from your neighbor’s leftover mulch pile. These leftover piles may contain materials from diseased trees and will cause more harm than good.

You can make your own mulch by combining materials from your own yard, such as healthy lawn clippings, shredded leaves, branches, and bark. Otherwise, if you have questions about what type of mulch to buy, give us a call. We’d be happy to help.



Your Tree Bark Matters

The bark on your tree is its natural armor against infection, disease, and rot. As you’re mowing your lawn or weed whacking around your property, take care not to knick your trees. Similarly, keep an eye out for anything else that might be causing regular damage to the bark of your trees.


Keep Pests Out of Your Tree Branches

Here in Oregon and Washington, we’re lucky to be surrounded by lots of beautiful wildlife. While animals like deer, squirrels, and raccoons can be fun to observe, they can also damage your trees if you’re not careful.

If you’re in an area that sees a lot of deer or has a rodent issue, there are a few steps you can take to not only protect your trees, but your entire yard and home. Keep in mind that a rat in your tree can usually scurry along branches and find a way onto your roof.

Here are some ways to keep pests out of and away from your trees.

  • Install deer fencing around your tree or the perimeter of your home
  • Add trunk guards to your trees to keep rodents away
  • Use a pest control spray along the perimeter of your property, if necessary


Don’t Forget to Prune Your Trees Regularly

Pruning is perhaps the most involved tree maintenance task you’ll need to perform. It’s also one that needs to be performed carefully. Improper pruning can prompt disease to spread, destabilize your tree, and in extreme cases, make it fall over.

We recommend hiring a professional arborist to handle the task– especially if you’ve never pruned a tree before. Pruning your trees, especially if they are large trees, can be dangerous and cumbersome. Working with a licensed, certified arborist will ensure your trees remain a safe, healthy, and beautiful part of your property.

If you want to go at the pruning process alone, here are some best practices to follow:

  • Remove dead or broken branches.
  • Get rid of crossing branches which are rubbing against each other and damaging the bark. Typically, you should remove the smaller branch, encouraging the stronger branch to continue growing.
  • Remove low branches, branches prone to damage, or branches encroaching on your house or roof


Tips for Cutting Branches

  • Use clean and sharp tools, sanitizing them between different trees
  • Cut down to the main trunk or lateral branch
  • When cutting back to a main stem or branch, avoid making a flush cut. Leave a small collar of the branch, which will help protect your tree against pathogens

Even with all this in mind, be aware pruning techniques can be specific to each type of tree. It’s always best to consult a professional arborist before undertaking a large pruning job.



Count On Northwest Arbor Culture to Care for Your Trees

Need some extra help maintaining the trees on your property? Whether you need tree pruning or removal, are concerned about the health of your trees, or want to improve the overall landscape of your property, we can help.

Northwest Arbor-Culture Inc. is a full-service tree care, landscape, property maintenance and forest management provider. For over 30 years, we’ve been providing services to homeowners and businesses in Portland, Vancouver, and the surrounding areas of Oregon and Washington.

We are proud of our reputation for being the most dependable, professional, and educated team in the Northwest. We offer quality services at a fair price and unmatched customer attention.

Contact us to learn more or call us at (503) 538-8733 to schedule a free estimate.

Category Pruning, Tree, Tree Care

Buying A Home? Don’t Forget To Inspect The Trees!

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018


Shrewd house hunters always await a professional inspection before purchasing a home. Too often, though, homebuyers completely neglect to inspect the trees surrounding the house and property.

It’s always a good idea to hire an ISA Certified Arborist before buying a house. A yard may require extensive tree maintenance or have other tree issues you’ll need to take care of. Partnering with an Oregon and Washington arborist will help you avoid unexpected surprises down the road.



Why Inspect Your Trees?

Inspecting the trees in a yard before purchasing a house ensures the property aligns with all local landscaping regulations. A professional and certified Washington and Oregon arborist knows what to look for and will help ensure you make a fully informed decision.

Beyond regulations, the most important reason for a pre-purchase home and property tree inspection is safety. Problematic trees pose a great risk of damaging your property or endangering your family.



Tree Issues to Watch for When Purchasing a Home

Your realtor or home inspector may not understand how to spot signs of a problematic tree. An ISA Certified Arborist, on the other hand, will know exactly what to look for. They will ensure you are fully informed as you make the big decision to buy a home in Oregon or Washington.

Here are a few of the things an ISA Certified Arborist will look for when inspecting a house and property.

Tree Species

Beyond potential tree dangers or issues, it’s smart to know the species of trees you’ll be dealing with. Here in Washington and Oregon, there are over 60 native tree species alone!

Arborists will begin by determining the type of trees on the property. Then, they’ll educate you on what to expect, including:

  • Seasonal characteristics of the trees
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Common issues

Whether or not you have any interest in trees, knowing the species surrounding your property is very important for maintaining your new house and yard.



Dead, Dying, or Diseased Trees

Dead, dying, or diseased trees on your property don’t just look bad, they are also a huge inconvenience and potentially catastrophic. Dead or dying trees attract pests and can fall without warning. Diseased or pest infected trees can spread to other trees around your property.

A dead or dying tree on your property can’t fix itself. It will be your job as the new homeowner to take care of the issue. This can be an expensive undertaking, especially if it’s a large tree and requires removal.
There are 3 tell-tale signs an Arborist will look for to determine the health of your tree:

  1. Trunk Damage: As a tree ages, old bark will fall off and grow a new layer. A tree without bark can be an indication of failing health. An Arborist will also look for vertical cracks and damage along the tree trunk.
  2. Fungus: Fungus along the trunk or branches of a tree may indicate internal rot. A rotting tree means it’s either dying or already dead.
  3. Damaged Roots: Some signals an Arborist will look for are small branches popping up from the base of the tree trunk. This is known as epicormic shoots and means the tree is under extreme stress. Another sign of damaged roots can be a tree leaning to one side.



Trees Too Close to the House

At a glance, a big maple tree in the front yard adds character to the property. But if the tree isn’t sturdy, there’s a chance it could come crashing down on your house during a storm. A tree decades old can have hidden problems that the current owner isn’t aware of.

Even if the tree is sturdy and safe, an Arborist can analyze the amount of yearly maintenance will be required.

Here some questions an Arborist can help you answer:

  • Will regular pruning be required?
  • Will you be dealing with an abundance of leaves to clean during the fall?
  • Is the tree close enough to drop branches or debris into your gutter?
  • Does the tree have nuts or fruit you’ll need to take care of?

A tree may not be very close to your house, but if it’s big enough, its branches may pose an issue. Unruly tree branches can fall on your roof or car, crash through windows, or deposit debris around your yard.



Roots Disturbing the House Foundation

A beautiful tree in your yard could be causing a significant threat to the foundation of your home.
Roots grow in search of water and nutrients. Depending on the type of soil surrounding your house, this can cause structural damage to your property.

For instance, if your house sits on compact clay soil, roots pushing their way though can affect the placement of this soil. This can cause your foundation to shift and crack.

Another type of soil that is easily damaged by roots is loose dirt and rock. This material will easily shift and become displaced as roots move through.

ISA Certified Arborists can get a read on the type of soil around your property. They will give you an idea of how roots are affecting your foundation, or how they may cause problems down the road.



Problematic Tree Pests

Perhaps the most annoying tree issue to be aware of is a pest infestation. Depending on the Pacific Northwest area you live in, there are certain tree pests to be aware of. An Arborist will tell you exactly what type of insects to watch out for and whether or not a tree is currently infected.

A pest-infected tree can pose many problems. Some bugs can chew through the wood and bark of your tree, making it unsound and unsafe. Others will eat away at your tree, slowly killing it. If you’re dealing with a serious infestation, it’s possible the bugs have spread to other trees on the property.

Beyond insects and pests, it’s also smart to be aware of other critters than may be living in your trees. From squirrels and raccoons to bees, owls, and other birds.



What If the Tree Inspection Reveals a Problem?

A tree issue on the property doesn’t always mean you shouldn’t purchase the house. But it should play a role in your decision. If the house or property has a severe tree issue, it could cost you hundreds (and even thousands) of dollars. You may be able to negotiate a lower price on the home or have the seller pay for the cost of maintenance.

If you’re looking at a home in the Oregon or Washington area, contact us. We’ll ensure you’re getting the best deal for your money and eliminate unwanted surprises by conducting a pre-purchase home and property tree inspection. Our ISA Certified Arborists are happy to help you.


Category Landscaping, Pests, Roots, Tree

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