Author Archives: Nathan Lawrence

April in the Garden—A To Do List

This guide is tailored for the western valleys of Oregon and Washington

YOU can help to make the world a better, a more friendly, loving and beautiful place by being a good steward of the spot on this earth, your garden, that you have been given the privilege of borrowing for a time. It is our hope that the following to-do list will help you to do just that.

Nathan, the Treevangelist, urges you to treat your spot on this planet like your own personal Garden of Eden. May it become your personal paradise. This is your divinely mandated responsibility.  Your trees, shrubs, flowers and the wildlife in your yard will pay you back as they express their smiling appreciation to you and yours by radiating their love, joy and beauty bursting forth with vibrant and verdant life. Below is a to-do list to help fulfill this mission.

This month, the garden is popping with life as the naked deciduous trees and shrubs don their fresh seasonal leafy attire and celebrate the arrival of spring as they burst forth with all those pent up life-force juices ready to rock and roll. They’re beginning to flauntingly parade themselves down the garden’s catwalk with their fantasmic plethora and rainbowic panoply of colors from the lowly perennial primrose to the ostentatiously regal Mount Fuji cherry tree. Meanwhile, the birds are serenading us with their twitterpational love songs, and even the croaking frogs with their basso profundo tones are jumping into the garden’s three ring circus and trying to steal the show. So what more can be said? It’s time to get up and get out there and to join in! HalleluYah!

While you’re at it, take a few moments and scroll back through this same Good News Tree Service, Inc. blog and check out the archives for any tree and plant care articles that you may have missed. Also check out our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvcu2lL9NpgoXQtUFYyQShw, our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GoodNewsTreeService/ and our main website at https://goodnewstree.com. Please enjoy!

Readers’ suggestions on how to improve this list are gladly solicited. If you, the reader, have any suggestions for additions to this month’s list, please put them in the comments section of this article, and I will add them to the list. Thank you in advance! — Nathan

Tree and Shrub Care

  • Fruit tree pruning. It’s time to finish pruning your fruit trees for fruit production. Also finish pruning your grapes, cane and trailing berries once the threat of major frost is past. Fruit trees can be pruned any time of the year, but it’s best not to prune them while they have flowers or fruit on them for fear of destroying part of your fruit harvest.
  • Finish planting your fruit trees. By getting them in the ground in the winter or early spring, they’ll have time to acclimate to their new home before summer comes. 
  • Mulch. Apply two to three inches of mulch around all trees and ornamental shrubs. This helps to fertilize the plants and feed the soil, and also protects them against weed growth and loss of water when the warmer  weather returns.
  • Pine tree pruning. Finish pruning coast/shore pines (Pinus contorta) and Scotch/Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris). These two pines are especially susceptible to the sequoia pitch moth whose larvae burrow into the tree trunks during the growing season (April through September) causing the trees to exude large amounts of unsightly pitch globules. While this seldom kills the tree, the bleeding of sap is not good for the overall health and vigor of the tree. It is advisable, therefore, not to prune these pine trees during the growing season, since the pruning cuts attract the moth, which then lays eggs on the tree, which hatch into tree-burrowing larvae. Pruning should be done on your pines from November to March.
  • Plant or transplant trees and shrubs. Early spring is still a good time to plant or transplant ornamental trees and shrubs. Cooler weather means less transplant shock to the plants, and over  the winter and spring, they will have time to begin to acclimate to their new environment before the stress of the next summer season occurs.
  • Pruning of large trees. Most trees in the temperate western valleys of Oregon and Washington can be pruned anytime of the year. If you’re not sure what to do, or how to do it, call Good News Tree Service, Inc. for a consultation, pruning lessons or to have them do the pruning for you.
  • Pruning of ornamental shrubs. Early in the spring before a lot of new growth starts is a good time to do major pruning (called heading back) of rhododendrons (or rhodies) and other similar ornamental shrubs back to latent buds in trunks and stalks. Do this before spring growth begins in the near future.
  • Prune fast growing ornamental shrubs that are beginning to look shabby. You may need to prune them again in the early summer for a more neat and manicured look. 
  • Reparative pruning. Repair winter damaged to trees and shrubs.
  • Tree and shrub removal and stump grinding can be done all year long. 
  • Trees. Have an ISA Certified Arborist with an ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (like Good News Tree Service, Inc.) inspect your large trees for the potential of failure due to weak root systems and defects in trunks and branches. This is best done when the leaves are off the trees.

Plant Health Care

Good News Tree Service, Inc. provides full plant health care services as listed below.

  • Apple scab on ornamental crabapple and fruiting apple trees. The first visible symptoms occur on leaves in spring as pale, yellowish, water-soaked spots the size of a pinhead. These enlarge, becoming darker and smoky in appearance, later taking on an olive shade and ultimately a brownish black color. Spots may be any shape but are frequently circular. Young infections often show a radiating spread of fungal tissue through the leaf, and such areas later appear as irregular, brown-colored infections. Diseased leaves can be curled and distorted and often drop early. This fungal disease can also move into the fruit to produce a scabby effect, hence the name “apple scab.” Several fungicidal sprays are required to control this disease just prior to flowering and after flowering. 
  • Arborvitae Twig Blight (Thuja occidentalis): Spray in the spring and early summer when new growth starts at two week intervals. 
  • Birch Rust Fungus: Occurs on leaves. Spray before symptoms appear on 10 to 14 day intervals—4 apps if infestation is severe.
  • Cherry Tree Brown Rot Blossom Blight (Monilinia fructicola):Make 3 foliar applications starting at bud break and at 14 day intervals.
  • Coryneum Blight (Shot Hole Fungus) or Cherry & Plum Leaf Spot: This leaf blight affects ornamental and flowering cherry, plum and prune trees. Apply fungicide in the spring at flower petals fall, shuck fall and two weeks later.
  • Crabapple Leaf Blight. Apply fungicide as the leaf clusters are just opening up and make several more applications subsequently as per label directions.
  • Deep Root Fertilization: Trees and ornamental shrubs—deep root fertilize to promote lush, healthy-looking and vigorous crown growth. Urban soils tend to lacking in many of the nutrients that trees and shrubs need to survive. Many are malnourished or are starving to death, which is why they don’t look radiantly healthy are struggling with pest issues. Deep root fertilization helps to promote healthy-looking and pest-resistant trees and shrubs. The best time of the year to do this is in the spring and fall.
  • Dogwood Anthracnose: Begin spraying with a fungicide at bud break and continue at 10 to 14 day intervals. 
  • Dormant Spraying of Fruit Trees: Continue fungal sprays until after flower petals have dropped off.
  • Magnolia Bacterial Blight: Apply one fungal spray in fall and twice in spring near budbreak.
  • Lawns: Fertilize lawns.
  • Leaf Blights: Spray trees and shrubs for fungal leaf diseases (e.g. powdery mildew, leaf blights, dogwood anthracnose, needle blights, etc.).
  • Monitor trees and shrubs for insect pests. When piercing and sucking plant pests (e.g. aphids, lacebugs, scales, weevils, mites, etc.) hatch varies each year depending on when the warmer weather begins. Usually, hatching of plant pests begins from early to late April. When consistent warm weather begins to occur, start monitoring plants for insect nymphs and adults. If necessary, plan a course of action to treat your trees and shrubs against these pests.
  • Pear Rust: Apply fungicide in early spring about bloom time as the orange fungal telium (pl. telia) begin to appear.
  • Photinia Leaf Spot: Spray with a fungicide as new shoots are developing at 30 day intervals.
  • Piercing/Sucking Insects: Continue applying systemic insecticides against piercing sucking insects (aphids, lacebugs, scales, weevils, etc.) via soil injections (one treatment gives season-long control). 
  • Pine Dothistroma Needle Blight: Apply fungicide at just before bud break and a few weeks later.
  • Powdery Mildew: Apply a fungicides as soon as symptoms appear. Best efficacy occurs if used before symptoms appear. Use fungicide at 7 to 14 day intervals, or more often if conditions warrant it. If a plant is known to have had powdery mildew previously,  apply as buds start to open.
  • Spider mites will start to become active as the weather warms. Systemic insecticides are available against this pest.
  • Tent Caterpillar: Apply systemic pesticide for season-long control.
  • Verticillium Wilt: Soil drench in the spring. Maples are especially susceptible to this fungal root disease as are cherries and plums.
  • Willow Twig Blight (scab): Apply two or three applications beginning when new leaves first appear at 10 to 14 day intervals.

Elsewhere in the Garden

  • Put slug bait around your flowers and tender plants such as hostas. 
  • Apply two to three inches of mulch (e.g. bark dust, garden compost or wood chips) on all of your shrub beds. Covering bare dirt areas in your yard with mulch helps to prevent soil compaction from rains, and weed growth, and helps to enrich our heavy clay soils.
  • Begin planting annual and perennial flowers.
  • Cut English ivy off of the base of trees. (This can be done any time of the year.)
  • Feed the birds. Dutifully maintain your bird feeders. Bring life and excitement to your backyard by turning it into a bird sanctuary. The birds will thank you for your generosity by providing you with hours of entertainment, and by eating insect pests that harm your ornamental trees and shrubs. Birds in the yard are not only fun to watch, but they perform the vital task of eating harmful insects. 
  • Start making plans for your vegetable garden. Once the soil has dried out, you can begin working it for planting our veggies. Usually this will occur in late April or early May and sometimes later depending on the weather. The earlier you plant, the sooner you’ll be feeding on delicious veggies from your own garden!
  • Plant new lawns. Fertilize your lawn. Aerate and dethatch.
  • Continue to keep your bird feeders full. Why? Even though we’re now past the winter season and there is more food available for the birds, having these feathery friends frequent your garden serves several purposes. First, they bring life and excitement to your backyard by turning it into a bird sanctuary. Second, your singing friends will thank you for your generosity by providing you with hours of entertainment, and by eating insect pests that harm your ornamental trees and shrubs. 

Happy gardening!

Why deep root fertilize your trees and shrubs?

There are several reasons why deep root fertilizing your ornamental trees and shrubs is a good thing. It’s less expensive to treat or fertilize an ailing plant than to remove and replace it, and lose the monetary and aesthetic value that large, established trees or shrubs give to your home.

Regular fertilizing means healthy trees and shrubs that are more able to tolerate environmental stresses and resist pests.

Plants use large quantities of nitrogen to produce lush and green ­foliage. Leaf litter is a natural source of nitrogen, but is removed in well-manicured gardens, thus removing a main source of nitrogen. Fertilizing replenishes this lost nitrogen.

Most trees and shrubs are located in heavy and compacted urban soils that have been stripped of topsoil and are low in organic matter and ­fertility. This stresses plants and regular fertilization through hydraulic pressure replenishes depleted soils and helps to fracture compacted soil, thus facilitating the movement of nutrients through the soil to the tree’s roots.

What are the symptoms that your trees or shrubs have a problem and could benefit from fertilization?

  • Light green, yellowish or discolored leaves
  • Thin foliage or branch die-back
  • Fewer or smaller leaves than normal
  • Dying back of branches and the tips
  • Bore holes and sawdust shavings
  • Cracking bark
  • Dead spots on leaves
  • Wilting foliage
  • Premature leaf drop
  • Short annual twig growth

When is the best time to fertilize?

Plants will benefit from fertilization almost anytime of the year as long as soil temperatures are above 40° to 45°F. Typically, spring and fall are the best times to fertilize. Spring fertilization targets feeding leaves, fruits and flowers, while fall fertilization targets feeding roots systems.

What can Good News Tree Service, Inc. offer your trees and shrubs?

  • GNTS offers a full line of plant health care services including
  • Deep root fertilization of shrubs and trees via soil-injection
  • Diagnostics of plant health care problems
  • Pesticide applications (including insecticides and fungicides)
  • Free analysis of the trees and shrubs on your property

The Fertilizing System We Use

We inject liquid fertilizer into the plant’s root zone through hydraulic pressure making it immediately available for uptake unlike typical means of fertilization such as spreading granuilar fertilizer by hand.

Our standard fertilizer includes complete fertilizer (N, P, K) including 40% slow release nitrogen, (and in the spring, Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn, Ca). Into this we also add 100% organic soil amendments including amino-acids root stimulator to promote nutrient absorption, and stimulate plant metabolism, at the same time encouraging the growth of soil microorganisms to replenish soils depleted of organic matter, thus improving poor subsoil conditions and reducing compaction.

Extremely stressed plants also receive an all-natural liquid biological fungicide, which helps to suppress a broad range of important soil-borne and foliar diseases. These live fungi will multiply in the soil and will fight harmful disease pathogens long after the initial application. This, along with added mychorrhizae fungi, will strengthen the tree’s natural defense mechanisms and stimulate root growth. 

Invest in your trees and shrubs today…and see the difference tomorrow!

Call us today or email us today for a free analysis of your trees & shrubs with a price quote to fertilize or to treat them against pests:

Phone (503) 682-9466
Email: arborist@goodnewstree.com

A New Look for Good News Tree Service, Inc of Wilsonville, Oregon But the Same Name…

GNTS, Inc. is sporting a new look these days. We are completing a long and expensive restoration of our 1952 GMC chip truck, which we purchased in 1996 and which is iconic and “legendary” in our home town. No other tree service in our region, probably in the entire country, has a tree service dump truck like this one—and there’s more to come with new signs and new wood on our dump body to give the truck a more classic and vintage look. This is all in keeping with one of our mottos which is “Old fashioned service, modern techniques since 1985.” For sure, our old dump truck drives home the point of “old fashioned.” Our truck is unique and so is our company in many ways, but this is a discussion for another time.

So why the name “Good News Tree Service, Inc.?” This is not your typical name for a tree service. I could have named my company after myself like so many others do, or added any one of a number trite verbiage to my name such as “A Cut Above,” “Out on a Limb,” “Best,” “Top Notch,” “Cheap,” “Inexpensive,” Professional,” “Quality” or whatever. While these may all be okay names, we chose something totally different and unique because we’re a little different than all the others. So why?

Simply this for this reason. It is our hope that people will ask us “what is the good news?” So what is the good news you may ask? I’m glad you asked! Well there are a lot of things that qualify as good news, even in these crazy times in which we’re living; however, above everything else, there is one thing that stands out above all the rest, and that is the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah), and the love, peace, joy and hope that embracing and walking out this truth brings. Even though I’ve been in biblical-based evangelistic and pastoral ministry for 30 years, I don’t promote a church, denomination or any religious institution. I promote one thing only: the Bible as the word of LORD God (Yehovah Elohim) and Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah) as the One who loved us so much that he died to pay the price for our sins, and Who then promises to give us changed and spiritually regenerated life full of love, peace, joy and hope if we will come into a personal relationship with Him.

So do you want to go to the next step in your upward spiritual journey and find out why you were placed on this earth and what your potential spiritual destiny is? Well, be courageous and please take a look at what I’ve written below.


Why were you born? Is life just a giant treadmill—you’re born, live and die?

The Bible, God’s message to man, begins with the words, “In the beginning, God/Elohim created the heavens and the earth.” The Bible tells us that God (His biblical name is Yehovah Elohim) is the Supreme King of the universe (Pss 47:7; 95:3) who created everything including man (Neh 9:6; Gen 2:7). Man is the only creature Elohim created in His own likeness (Gen 1:26). Why? Elohim, is a loving Father (Matt 5:48; 6:9; Rom 1:7), and it was His plan for man to live forever as part of His spiritual family (Rom 8:14–16; 1 John 3:1–2). For this to happen, man had to love and obey Elohim, like a child needs to obey his parents. For awhile, the first man and woman obeyed and loved Elohim (Gen 1:27–28; 2:4–25).

Sadly, everything soon changed. An evil alien king and a rival to Elohim appeared on the earth and seduced the mind and heart of man (Gen 3:1–6). This evil king, who the Bible calls the serpent, the devil or Satan (Gen 3:1; Rev 12:9; 20:2), accused Elohim of lying to man and he lured man into sin (breaking Elohim’s laws, 1 John 3:4). When man sinned, he came under Satan’s power and became a slave to sin and rebellion against Elohim. When man chose to follow the devil, he chose a spiritual path that leads away from Elohim resulting in guilt, hopelessness, emptiness, pain, bondage and eventually eternal death. All men have been going down this path of sin and rebellion ever since (Rom 3:23).

As King of the universe, Yehovah Elohim is a God of law, order and justice (Deut 32:4,35; Pss 9:4,7,8; 89:1). As in a nation, there has to be law and order in the universe or else there would be chaos and anarchy. If evil were allowed to go unchecked, then all that Elohim has made and loves would be destroyed. As in human government, so it is with Elohim’s government: when laws are broken a penalty has to be paid. When man breaks Elohim’s laws the penalty is misery, guilt and death (Gen 2:17; Ezek 18:4; Rom 6:23). 

In the mean time, the devil, the enemy king, has blinded his prisoners (man) to the terrible consequences of sin, to the truth of Elohim’s laws or Torah and to Elohim’s love. The devil promises man so much, but delivers so little in return. If man will sin, he promises man wealth, fame, pleasure, power, prestige, and acceptance (Matt 4:8–9), but instead man ends up with guilt, despair, emptiness, sorrow, pain, and eventually death and an eternity of separation from Elohim. The devil is a deceiver and a liar and the father of all lies (John 8:44).

All men have sinned (broken Elohim’s Torah-laws) and fallen short of the glory YHVH intended for him when He made man in His image (Rom 3:23). Anyone who says he has not sinned is deceiving himself (1 John 1:8). The Ten Commandments (Exod 20:1–17) give us an outline of what sin is. For example, if you put anything in your life ahead of Elohim, then you are guilty of idolatry. If you have profaned Yehovah’s name, then you are a blasphemer. If you have not rested on the seventh-day Sabbath, not honored your parents, murdered, stolen, committed adultery, lied or coveted, you are a lawbreaker and a sinner worthy of death, according to the Word of Elohim (Rom 6:23).

Man has a big problem! How can he obtain the glorious destiny that Elohim has for him as a son who will live forever (Rom 3:23; Eph 1:3–4) when he is a sinner under an irrevocable death penalty (Rom 6:23; Ezek 18:4)? The enemy king, Satan the devil, figures that he has man trapped like a prisoner of war behind the walls of a heavily guarded fortress prison with no possibility of escape.  

But Elohim had a plan from the beginning to rescue man. He knew man would sin, but when the time was right, He “broke” a piece of Himself off, so to speak, and sent Himself  to this earth and put a part of Himself inside of a human body (Isa 53:1 and 2–12 for context; Rom 8:3). We know that Divine God-Man to be Yeshua the Messiah or Jesus Christ (John 1:1–14; Phil 2:6–8). He would save or rescue man from the death penalty (Matt 1:21). The Bible says, “For Elohim so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him [Yeshua] should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). 

How did Yeshua save sinful man? The Bible says that Yeshua lived a sinless life and then died to pay the price for man’s sin (2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet 1:18–19; 2:22). As Yehovah in flesh form (Matt 1:23; John 1:1–14), and as the Creator of man (John 1:3; Eph 3:9; Col 1:16), Yeshua’s life was worth more than all sinful men put together (Heb 9:28). By dying in man’s place (1 Pet 2:24; Isa 53:4–6), he satisfied Elohim’s divine justice (1 Pet 3:18). Is this hard to believe? Well believe it! This is how much Elohim loved you, a sinner (Rom 5:8). He sent his own Son to die on the cross to pay for your sins! 

So now what do you need to do? How do you get set free from the prison of the enemy king, and be released from the grip of guilt, emptiness, anguish, pain and eventual eternal death and separation from Elohim and his love?

What must you do to be saved? It is as simple as ABC.

  • Admit that you’re a sinner and turn away from all sin.
  • Believe in your heart that Yeshua died for your sins and resurrected from the dead defeating the power of death.
  • Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that He is the Son of Elohim.
  • Then ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit.
  • Be baptized in water for the washing away of your sins and begin reading and believing your Bible every day.
  • Then become a part of a congregation of serious Bible-believing followers of Yeshua. After this, resolve to obey Yeshua, your new Master and King every day. Show Elohim that you love Him by reading His Word, the Bible, and following His commands.
  • Do this and your life will be changed forever!

For more information, we invite you to check out our website at www.hoshanarabbah.org

Hearst Castle’s Trees, Plants, Bathrooms & a Burping Sea Lion

This is not your typical tour of Hearst Castle, but is specifically for lovers of gardens, trees, and outdoor scenery including background info on how the gardens came to be. Of course, we’ll take you on a tour of all five stories of the famous Hearst Castle including Mr. Heart’s private suite and bedroom and bathrooms. The video ends with a visit to a nearby bunch of bickering and snorting sea lions including a one ton grandpa sea lion showing off his prowess at burping. Please enjoy!

March in the Garden—A To Do List

This guide is tailored for the western valleys of Oregon and Washington.

YOU can help to make the world a better, a more friendly, loving and beautiful place by being a good steward of the spot on this earth, your garden, that you have been given the privilege of borrowing for a time. It is our hope that the following to-do list will help you to do just that.

Nathan, the Treevangelist, urges you to treat your spot on this planet like your own personal Garden of Eden. May it become your personal paradise. This is your divinely mandated responsibility.  Your trees, shrubs, flowers and the wildlife in your yard will pay you back as they express their smiling appreciation to you and yours by radiating their love, joy and beauty bursting forth with vibrant and verdant life. Below is a to-do list to help fulfill this mission.

E-A-R-L-Y is the operative word this March. With the mild winter, almost no snow in the Willamette Valley, and warmer than usual temperatures, the life forces within the plants cannot be contained any longer and are bursting forth. Amazingly, as early as late February, I was seeing some roses and flowering plums, among other things, beginning to sprout some leaves. 

The months of January and February, though still in the throes of winter, with their numerous days in the 50s with some pushing towards 60 degrees mark, shouted “spring” in defiance of the calendric dates. This spells one thing: time to drag out the lawn mower and weeder, for the garden awaits your dutiful attention. 

Come on and admit it. With all  the rain, you’ve caught a touch of cabin fever, and it’s time to give in to that nervous twitch, come out of your cave and, like a monarch about to burst forth from its cocoon, start spreading those wings, take to flight and joyously begin fluttering around from plant to plant in your garden paradise!

While you’re at it, take a few moments and scroll back through this same Good News Tree Service, Inc. blog and check out the archives for any tree and plant care articles that you may have missed. Also check out our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvcu2lL9NpgoXQtUFYyQShw, our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GoodNewsTreeService/ and our main website at www.goodnewstree.com. Please enjoy!

Readers’ suggestions on how to improve this list are gladly solicited. If you, the reader, have any suggestions for additions to this month’s list, please put them in the comments section of this article, and I will add them to the list. Thank you in advance! — Nathan

YOU can help to make the world a better, a more friendly, loving and beautiful place by tending your spot on this earth that has been given to you—your garden. Here is a to do list to help you to do just that…


Tree and Shrub Care

Continue reading

The World Class Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden—50,000 Cacti and More!

Are you fascinated by cacti (or cactuses) of all shapes and sizes including the unusual and weird? Well, then, take a quick tour of, by some accounts, Phoenix, Arizona’s top tourist attraction, one of America’s top botanical gardens, and, probably, the top desert botanical garden in the world—the Phoenix Botanical Gardens. I’ve been to some of the top botanical gardens in the world, and this is one unlike anything else!

February in the Garden—A To Do List

This guide is tailored for the western valleys of Oregon and Washington. 


YOU can help to make the world a better, a more friendly, loving and beautiful place by being a good steward of the spot on this earth, your garden, that you have been given the privilege of borrowing for a time. It is our hope that the following to-do list will help you to do just that.

Nathan, the Treevangelist, urges you to treat your spot on this planet like your own personal Garden of Eden. May it become your personal paradise. This is your divinely mandated responsibility.  Your trees, shrubs, flowers and the wildlife in your yard will pay you back as they express their smiling appreciation to you and yours by radiating their love, joy and beauty bursting forth with vibrant and verdant life. Below is a to-do list to help fulfill this mission.

Just when you thought it couldn’t rain much more, it did. January was a wetter than usual month and a good time for people to hibernate indoors.  But as the days begin to lengthen, the cold temps begin to inch upward, and the sun begins to peak out from behind the clouds a tiny bit more, guess what? Heat and light incubate life. Plant buds are beginning to swell, and a few hardy early-bird flowers are beginning to pop out of the cold ground. Rejoice as the earth begins to awaken with a new flourish of life, and take a moment to walk around your personal domain and notice as the inexorable and reassuringly predictable cycles of plant-life rebirths once again despite the crazy, erratic, capricious and often malevolent machinations of many humans everywhere.

While you’re looking around, scroll back through this same Good News Tree Service, Inc. blog and check out the archives for any tree care articles that you may have missed. Also check out our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvcu2lL9NpgoXQtUFYyQShw and our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GoodNewsTreeService/. Our website is https://goodnewstree.com. Please enjoy!

Readers’ suggestions on how to improve this list are gladly solicited. If you, the reader, have any suggestions for additions to this month’s list, please put them in the comments section of this article, and I will add them to the list. Thank you in advance! — Nathan

Tree and Shrub Care

  • Fruit tree pruning. Prune your fruit trees for fruit production. You can also prune grapes, can and trailing berries once the threat of major frost is past.
  • Plant fruit trees. Not only is this a good time to plant bareroot fruits trees, which you can purchase now at many garden centers, but it’s an excellent to plant all kinds of trees and shrubs in the garden, while the weather is cool and the plants are still dormant. This is also a good time to reduce the height of overgrown fruit trees, since they are likely to produce fewer water sprouts now then when pruned in the spring.
  • Mulch. Apply two to three inches of mulch around all trees and ornamental shrubs. This helps to fertilize the plants and feed the soil, and also protects them against weed growth and loss of water when the warmer  weather returns.
  • Pine tree pruning. Prune coast/shore pines (Pinus contorta) and Scotch/Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris). These two pines are especially susceptible to the sequoia pitch moth whose larvae burrow into the tree trunks during the growing season (April through September) causing the trees to exude large amounts of unsightly pitch globules. While this seldom kills the tree, the bleeding of sap is not good for the overall health and vigor of the tree. It is advisable, therefore, not to prune these pine trees during the growing season, since the pruning cuts attract the moth, which then lays eggs on the tree, which hatch into tree-burrowing larvae. Pruning should be done on your pines from November to March.
  • Plant or transplant trees and shrubs. Winter is good time to plant or transplant ornamental trees and shrubs. Cooler weather means less transplant shock to the plants, and over  the winter and spring, they will have time to begin to acclimate to their new environment before the stress of the next summer season occurs.
  • Pruning of ornamental shrubs. Do major pruning (called heading back) of rhododendrons (or rhodies) and other similar ornamental shrubs back to latent buds in trunks and stalks. Do this before spring growth begins in a couple of months.
  • Pruning of large trees. Winter is a great time to do aesthetic and structural pruning of deciduous trees and shrubs, since the structure or architecture of the plant is clearly visible making aesthetic pruning easier than when plants are foliated. Structural defects, which can cause tree failure, are more easily spotted as well. Also remove of dead wood, and pruning to reduce hazards. If you’re not sure what to do, or how to do it, call Good News Tree Service, Inc. for a consultation, pruning lessons or to have them do the pruning for you.
  • Roses. The best time to prune roses is after the threat of major frost is past.
  • Tree and shrub removal and stump grinding can be done all year long. 
  • Trees. Have an ISA Certified Arborist with an ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (like Good News Tree Service, Inc.) inspect your large trees for the potential of failure due to weak root systems and defects in trunks and branches. This is best done when the leaves are off the trees. 
  • Trees and Storms. Storm proof your larger trees. Checking your trees for hazards and then take the appropriate measures to protect your trees from storm damage. After each major weather event, check your trees for damage such as broken or hanging limbs. If you have concerns or questions about your trees, have an ISA Certified Arborist with an ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (like Good News Tree Service, Inc.) inspect your large trees for damage or the potential of failure due to weak root systems and defects in trunks and branches. If you’re not sure about the condition of your trees or even what to look for, call Good News Tree Service, Inc. for a free on-site consultation.
Continue reading