Austin Tree Service

Are Your Trees Prepared for El Niño?

Austin Tree ServiceEl Niño means more rain and colder temperatures this coming fall and winter. Are your trees structurally safe or do they need pruning? If they’re not structurally safe, the cold weather and increased rain could cause problems. Your tree branches could break under the weight of the rain. They could fall down and impact your home or car. They could also become diseased.

If you don’t know if your trees are in good condition or not, you should contact us at Austin Tree Service. Our certified arborist can gauge the health of your trees and branches. He will tell you whether they need to be pruned or if the tree needs to come down. In some cases, El Niño weather patterns are strong enough to bring the biggest but not healthiest tree to its knees.

But, what is El Niño?

El Niño is a climate cycle occurring in the Pacific Ocean that has far-reaching effects. It begins when warm water in the western, tropical Pacific Ocean shifts eastward along the Equator toward the coast of South America. During an El Niño, the Pacific’s warmest surface waters sit offshore northwest South America. Forecasters will declare an El Niño when they see both ocean temperatures and rainfall veer to the East.

El Niño’s bring about a difference in temperature, some wind and a whole lot of rain. Peruvian fishermen, at the beginning of the 20th century noticed the correlations between temperature changes and anchovy stocks. When an El Niño occurred, there were less anchovies during December and January. This began the interest in the phenomenon, which these fishermen called El Niño. The name stuck.

How do I prepare my trees for El Niño?

You should definitely have overhanging tree branches trimmed. We also advocate checking the overall health of your trees, not just the ones that overhang on your home. As we mentioned, trees can break and fall as a result of the cold temperatures and the excess rain of El Niño. You want to make sure they’re in peak condition before the weather hits.

We think you should give us, Austin Tree Service, a call at 512-341-8888 today. We’ll inspect your trees and tell you about how to get ready for El Niño’s wrath this fall and winter.


Austin Tree Service, Inc.

When is the Best Time to Trim Live Oaks in Central Texas?

Austin Tree Service, Inc.So many people wonder when the best time to trim live oaks in Central Texas is. So-called experts say you shouldn’t trim from January to June. However, is it really good to leave trees untrimmed for half the year? In this article, we’ll discuss the best time to trim live oaks in Central Texas. You may be surprised by the answer.

The quick answer is that if an oak tree needs to be pruned, then it should be pruned, regardless of the time of the year. If a tree has limbs rubbing against your roof or it hits cars in the driveway or if you have limbs that are broken when cars drive down the road, the tree has cracked, broken or rubbing limbs. This causes constant sap flow. If you don’t have these limbs and branches trimmed, then you keep your live oak in danger of developing an infection.

When an oak is properly trimmed, with cuts sealed off to eliminate sap flow, the tree is less likely to become infected. Trees that are properly trimmed don’t get infected. They stay healthy. The important thing is to think of the health of your tree and not some so-called expert’s advice.

In fact, improperly maintained oak trees get infected before properly pruned oak trees, regardless of the time of year the oak tree gets trimmed. Oak wilt is the most destructive disease affecting live oaks in Central Texas. Most of the tree mortality stems from tree-to-tree spread of the pathogen through interconnected root systems. New infection centers begin when beetles carry the fungal spores from infected oaks to non-infected oaks.

The best line of defense is to keep all oak trees healthy. This requires pruning when necessary, not when you think you should do it. Remember – the time to prune a tree is when it needs it, not some arbitrary time of year. If it’s January and your oak tree is in need of pruning, hire a professional like Austin Tree Service to prune it. You’ll be grateful you did when the tree remains healthy and so do the other trees in your yard.

Got a live oak in need of pruning? Give us a call at 512-341-8888 today. We’ll be happy to get our certified arborist out there to check out the health of your tree and prune the areas that need it.



Austin Tree Service

When is the Best Time for Tree Trimming Your Oaks

Austin Tree Service

Many people wonder when the best time for tree trimming your oaks is. The fact is there is no one right answer. If possible you should avoid tree trimming during the spring which, in this case corresponds to February 1st and June 30th.  In this article, we’ll discuss why you shouldn’t trim your oak trees during this period. If you have any questions, please contact Austin Tree Service for more information.

The reason you want to prevent trimming trees during February 1st to June 30th is largely because of tree diseases like oak wilt, also known as Ceratocystis fagacearum.  It’s the most destructive disease that affects live oaks and red oaks in this area. Many tree deaths are attributed to the tree-to-tree spread of this pathogen once an oak wilt center becomes established. New infection centers can occur when beetles carry the oak wilt with them to fresh, open wounds on healthy oaks.

  • Wounds include damage caused by wind, hail, vehicles, construction, small animals or pruning. You can reduce the risk of fungal spread when tree trimming your oaks by doing the following:
  • Paint fresh wounds with wound dressing or latex paint immediately after tree trimming or live tree removal whenever they occur.
  • Clean all your pruning tools with a 10% bleach solution or Lysol™ between sites or trees.
  • Debris from a diseased red oak should be immediately chipped, burned or buried.
  • Avoid tree trimming during the spring as defined as February 1st to June 30th. The only reasons to prune in spring are to:
    • Aid public safety concerns such as having a hazardous limb in the way, if there’s a traffic visibility issue or you need to clear emergency utility lines of limbs.
    • Repair damaged limbs from storms or other anomalous issues.
    • Remove limbs that rub against a building or on other branches. You will also want to raise low limbs over a street.
    • On construction sites you should prune just the live tissue that is needed to require clearance.
    • Get rid of dead branches where live tissue is not exposed.

Tree trimming for any other reasons should be conducted before or after this period. No matter when you prune, you should use proper techniques such as making proper cuts and avoiding injuries to the tree such as topping or excessive crown thinning. If you have any questions about this, you should contact Austin Tree Service at 512-341-8888. We’re happy to help trim your oak trees.