Deciduous Trees, Dormancy, and Winter Months

Dormant deciduous tree with no leaves

When trees shed their leaves for dormancy, there are various ways to prepare your tree for the winter season. Some factors like excess temperature, ground soil freeze, and ice showers may have a negative impact on your tree’s health. In this article Todd will discuss the main methods you can use to prepare your trees for the coming cold months.

What is a Deciduous Tree

The term ‘deciduous tree’ refers to a tree that sheds all of its leaves seasonally during the fall months and then enters a cycle of dormancy and finally growing new leaves in early spring. The leaves start to go through color changes and by December, they fall to the ground.

There is a noteworthy parameter to this phenomenon-the shed leaves create a type of barrier around the tree’s roots preventing them from getting cold/frozen. The natural decomposition of the leaves also enriches the soil and tree with health-boosting nutrients.

Note: Mowing the leaves can support this entire function as well as prevent leaves from matting and leading to problems later on.

What is Dormancy and its Role in Tree’s Health

Dormancy highly resembles animal hibernation in numerous aspects. During the winter time, animals slow their bodily systems to preserve their energy through deep sleep. Likewise, trees temporarily stop generating food during the winter season to save their energy deposits.

Deciduous trees, in particular, generate a substance named ‘Abscisic Acid’ which sends signals to the leaves to shed.

This substance (ABA) has the role of temporarily shutting off a tree’s development in both coniferous and deciduous tree types. Stopped growth is an extra benefit of dormancy which decreases even more the energy usage of trees. When the tree enters such a state, its metabolic function also slows, only using stored nourishment deposits and employs only principal processes.

Check Your Trees Prior to the Winter Season

In case you wish to keep health issues and insect infestations of your trees and shrubs under control, it would be wise to consult a tree expert. A tree professional can find out if there is something wrong with your tree and its respective treatment.

Getting your trees checked before dormancy starts will enable a prompt diagnosis of invasive insects or fungi. If you leave these issues untreated, the infestation caused during the dormancy stage will be detrimental to your tree’s health and lifespan.

Mulching Helps Conserve Water

When a tree loses more moisture than it takes in, this is called winter drought. We cannot control the weather, but we are able minimize it affects our trees.

Before winter temperatures set in, placing organic mulch around the tree’s base will provide a sort of insulation for the root system. The mulch works to prevent runoff and helps retain moisture. This benefits the tree’s health, hydration, and transition into and out of dormancy.

How to Treat Ice and Snow Accumulation

During a harsh winter season, Ice and snow may accumulate over your tree’s branches. It’s highly recommended that you DO NOT attempt to shake it off of the tree.

Dormant deciduous tree covered in ice and snow

That is because the branches will be frozen, brittle, and prone to breaking. If you attempt to shake the snow and ice off, you may seriously harm the tree and even cause the tree branches to break off.

So when harsh weather conditions like this occur, it’s better to consult an expert so they can check the tree’s health status and come up with a course of action.

For more tips on dealing with snow on trees, click here.

Trees Know When It’s Time To Come Back to Life

As soon as the season shifts and warmer temperatures set in, trees will start coming back to their old selves. If you helped the tree the season before, your tree will enjoy another year of health and great looks.

Let nature do its thing. After you do some trimming and make sure your tree is out of harms way, allow the tree’s natural functions to take over – it knows what it’s doing.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

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Hurricane Planting Tips and Trees For Your Marietta Landscape

Trees damaged and fallen in road after storm
With hurricane season slowly winding down, most property owners may be considering removing large trees in a bid to avoid damages to their homes or businesses in the future.

Some mature tree benefits you can enjoy include a higher property value, energy savings that comes with shading, cleaner and fresher air, and the aesthetic benefits. Below, Todd’s tree professionals outline several ways of establishing and maintaining more trees that are resistant to hurricanes and urban forest settings.

Preparing Your Trees for Bad Weather

The first step in preparation for a bad weather is to first remove any diseased or weak tree. In addition to moving your vehicle or removing any large-diseased trees that are within close proximity of your car or home.

Next, trim and prune trees so that they can have a lower center of gravity and an overall lighter mass. To increase wind resistance, sculpt the tree. However, follow best practices because techniques like topping or removing large branches make trees vulnerable to decay and eventual death.

Ensure you fertilize your trees on a yearly basis and check to see that all the root zones are buried under rich and healthy soil. Also, remember to keep watering them during the dry season so as to maintain their turgor and water retention ability.

It is pertinent that you remove any dead or diseased trees, as they have a tendency to cause devastating damages during bad weather conditions. There are some obvious symptoms when a tree is in bad health, read for some of the telltale signs.

Planting Strategies Can Save Trees

To deflect wind upwards, plant trees in clusters and add enough shrub mass, a group of trees can be referred to as a tree of five or more growing simultaneously, each within ten feet of the other, but does not include trees growing in a line. Trees that grow in groups have a better chance of survival and risk lesser damage than trees that stand alone in the event of a hurricane.

Trees and shrubs strategically planted together in yard
Seek to plant new trees as a grove, with numerous species grouped together. In addition, several different trees will help maintain the local diversity. Look to plant more shrubs close by if you have already existing single trees and mulching the entire area to form a landscape bed.

This in turn shields the root zone and diverts pressure into the area of the tree that offers more flexibility.

Tree Specimens Able to Withstand Strong Winds

The most resistant trees to wind damage are the Sand live oaks. Other trees with the least wind resistance include water oak, laurel oak, Chinese elm and sand pine.

Other alternatives include the crape myrtle, sabal palm, Southern magnolia, bald cypress and live oak – these trees in the event of a hurricane are less likely to blow over or lose limbs.

Although you want a beautiful yard, check that the common trees seen in Marietta Georgia,, also have good wind and storm resistance.

A Healthy Landscape Requires Smart Choices and Actions

Proper planting and constant care for your tree are just as vital as the tree selection process. Make wiser decisions when planning your landscape – planting new trees and shrubs in addition to continuous care for your trees will help you evade expensive damages in the future.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

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Saving Trees From Clinging Vines

Dying tree strangled by vines
Clinging or in simpler words unwanted vines can be challenging to deal with once they latch on to your garden landscape and trees.

Since vines grow and develop very fast, it won’t take long before they can lead to serious issues and even grow further despite your aim to deal with them.

Vines can rapidly creep into new spots; they develop inside tree canopies, sweep on to the edge of the buildings, and squeeze the life out of lower level plants and shrubs by strangling them and hindering them from being exposed to sunlight.

At Todd’s we cut and remove trees that have been damaged or killed from vines. Learn the best ways to deal and remove the deadly tree killing vines.

Vines Strangle, Smother And Kill Trees

Vines can easily creep their way with ease to the body of the trees. Then they smother and struggle them and once they reach a tree’s canopy, they prevent sunlight from showing in the leaves of the tree. As we know, sunlight is a form of energy for the plant and the vines against the tree compete for getting necessary nutrients and liquids.

An extra problem that emerges, is that when left uncontrolled and unhindered, ivy vines can fully conceal a tree’s trunk and its branches. As it smothers around and grows in length, it leads to trees and their branches falling without much resistance.

Troubled tree covered by clinging vines
Rich ivy layers prevent the tree’s bark exposure to clean air and microorganisms. Vines are damaging for the trees and should be dealt with. To learn more about the structural damages caused by vines, visit

Severing Vines from Their Roots

You can severe the vines to their core around the root of the trunk with sharp garden clippers. If the tree is densely smothered in vines grown to more than inch, you will have to cut through the vine with extra caution and carefully remove it from the bark. The aim here is to severe all vines from their nutrient sources drawn from the soil so they will die off.

After you cut the vines from the root body, you’ll have to wait to see progress. It’s best to leave the rest of the ivy on the tree to dry off. Ivy creeps around a tree using a sticky substance combined with micro root hairs that adhere densely to the crevices of the bark.

There is a high risk of heavily ruining the tree if you decide to forcefully pull the ivy off its body. If you want you can take hedge shears to trim the ivy leaves. The leaves though will progressively shrivel and leave the tree exposed to more sunlight.

Tip: It’s best to wear garden gloves and a protective uniform to prevent any irritations whilst trimming the vines. Some vine species may cause major skin irritation and more serious issues.

Getting Rid of Vines and Their Roots

Get rid of all the vines by pulling the roots out of the soil within a 2 foot circle around the tree. This will prevent any future damage to the tree. It is ideal to do it once the soil is a bit moist after rain or watering.

A leaf or wood chip mulch 2 inches thick and three feet around the tree is recommended to maintain adequate moisture and block lawn mowers from reaching directly to the roots. Also make sure the mulch is at 3 inches distance from the trunk of tree to allow proper air circulation for the bark and leave any vines that try to grow back exposed.

Dying Vines Left on Your Tree

While many will quickly trim off the ivy off the tree once it’s dead, its complex creeping mechanism will still be active. So the best thing to do is to let the ivy dry out and fall off naturally, as to maintain the bark’s integrity.

Once a competitor (such as an invasive vine) has been eliminated, trees are fairly fast to recover. It is important to keep a watchful eye on the tree though, as damages may be more extensive and hidden by the vine’s foliage. Hence the importance of acting quickly when a vine makes your tree its host.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

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The Right Time for Tree Cutting, Pruning, and Emergency Tree Removal

tree pruning and cutting marietta georgia
Our team at Todd’s is called to perform tree pruning on a regular basis. Pruning is when specific stems and branches are removed from a tree for the sake of the tree as a whole. Pruning is also used to thin the canopy of the tree and allow more sunlight and air to reach the tree; keeping it healthy and free from disease. Cutting is typically done to larger branches. Cutting is used to get rid of dead, damaged, and diseased branches to prevent organisms and insects from damaging the tree. Keep on reading to learn more about the benefits of pruning, cutting and emergency tree removal.

The Right Time for Pruning and Trimming Trees

Winter Pruning – Pruning a tree while it is dormant in winter is the most common pruning practice. It ensures that the tree grows plenty during the spring, making winter pruning the best choice if you want this effect for your own trees. It’s best to wait until the harshest and coldest parts of winter have passed to begin. Some tree species – such as birches and maple – can “bleed”. This is when sap flows from the tree. It’s not a harmful process at all and will stop when the tree begins to leaf out. So don’t worry about it.

Summer Pruning – Summer pruning is a good practice to direct growth by pruning the branches you don’t want to keep; a process known as dwarfing. This is when you inhibit the development of a particular tree or branch and it is best done following seasonal growth. The reason pruning slows down tree growth is that you are reducing how many leaves the tree has, which reduces how much food the tree can produce and send to roots to stimulate growth. Another reason for summer pruning is to correct the growth of the tree. It’s easier to see a defective limb and limbs that are weighed down by leaves during the summer. This makes it much easier to correct the issue.

When to Avoid Pruning – As fungi primarily spread pores during the fall, and trees recover slower in the fall, you should avoid pruning during the fall and just leave you shears and other tools in the shed. You can always prune during the winter or summer.

Take a look at our tree pruning and trimming service in action:

Cutting Branches and Limbs From Healthy Trees

There are several reasons that you will need to cut tree limbs; perhaps they are diseased or have died off; or they cross and rub against other tree limbs; or perhaps they are competing too aggressively with other branches and must be removed for the sake of the tree as a whole.

Another good reason to remove tree limbs is to raise or open up the canopy. This opens up the canopy to allow more sunlight and vertical clearance for trees. The best time to remove tree branches and limbs is during the winter. Diseases stay dormant during the winter and aren’t likely to infect and damage the tree through pruned limbs. If you cut open your tree during the winter then you’re just asking all the diseases and pests to damage your tree.

One thing to remember is that some trees will “bleed” after being cut, which is when sap leaks out of the wound. This can look a little unsightly – if not serious – but it’s completely harmless and not a sign of damage. Trees prone to heavy bleeding are beech, birch, maple, elm, and yellowwood.

You may feel that it would be good to dress fresh wounds using tree paints and wound dressings, which are designed for this occasion. My experience tells me that you rarely need to actually use these things. They can even impair the natural healing process of your trees and make them heal slowly. Trees are remarkably adaptable. They continue to grow no matter what adverse conditions you put them in or through. That’s why we would always advocate giving your tree a clean cut and letting the natural healing process take place.

Emergency Tree Removal in Marietta Ga

It’s tough to choose the right time to remove a tree that begins to develop problems. If there’s no risk to the people or structures around a dying tree, then it could likely be left to die by itself. Some animals – like small birds – make these dying and dead trees their homes, using them as nests and feeding grounds. So even a dead tree can serve a useful purpose.

If you really want to keep your tree and don’t mind spending money to do so, then you can attempt to extend the life of the tree by removing dead portions of the tree and giving it plenty of water. It can become expensive to do this and could concern your neighbors, especially if they feel the tree might fall and damage their property. At that point they will likely insist that you get rid of the tree. Inspect the tree yourself or hire an arborist to assess it for you and tell you if it needs to go. If the tree is too much of a hazard then you can hire emergency tree removal services to ensure the tree is removed safely without damaging your property.

Our emergency tree removal service is available after a disaster or severe weather condition:

Visit the following page for more info on emergency tree services

Pruning, Cutting, and Removing Trees

Pruning tree limbs can improve the appearance of the landscape around the tree, as long as it’s done properly. Pruning at an inappropriate time or taking shortcuts while pruning is just inviting future trouble. You will need to cut off damaged or diseased tree limbs, but they could be preserved if you take care of them quickly. However, emergency tree removal may be the only choice for avoiding damage when a tree becomes ravaged by disease or damaged by storms.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

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3 Tree Threat Prevention Tips

Tree support stakes used to strengthen the trunk and prevent wind damage
There are factors to which trees, both young and old, are vulnerable to. These factors range from environmental, animal, and even landscape and lawn care equipment. From contractors that are capable of damaging roots with their heavy machinery, to strong winds which blow off young trees, the list is almost endless.

To help prevent damage, Todd’s gathered a short list of potential threats. These tips would be useful in protecting your trees from being injured or damaged.

Guarding Trees from Wind Damage

Use support stakes – Durable metal or wood will act as your anchor and frame. You need to tie the tree to the frames using a soft fabric. Consider the amount of tension, as you should give a little room for the young tree to sway in the direction of the wind, but not much space that could allow the tree to break. The swaying will help in developing a good root system for the tree.

Use a protective covering for your trees – These covers will protect the tree from the invasion of pests, wind damage, and other factors. This protective covering should only be used only in the case of a serious wind looming. Otherwise, under normal weather conditions, you want the tree to absorb as much sunlight as it can. If you need to use a covering, place the cover from the top of the tree and use a tape to hold it in place at the trunk.

Protection from Deer Attacks

The young and tender bark of new trees appeal to deer. They feed off the lower limbs and are drawn to the rich taste. Deer also paw the soil around the tree and thus can damage the tree’s newly forming root system. However, worse of all, the males forcibly attack and damage the tree by rubbing their antlers against the bark.

two deer near a tree with bark damage

Protective barrier – A barrier like a fence should be built around the tree at a height of about 8-10 feet to prevent the animal from attacking the tree. The cages or fences must be adjustable to expansion as the tree grows, so as to give space for more growth and still prevent the tree from being attacked. Use chicken wire as the material for the construction.

Sprays will ward off deer – You can prevent deer attacks by using sprays that irritate their sense of smell. They are irritated by soap bars and hair, which you can put on ropes and hang on the limbs of the tree. You can create a homemade repellent, comprised of 94% water and 6% hot sauce. This solution upset their sense of taste and thwart further damage to your trees.

When possible, combine the two, as using the barrier and spray in conjunction produces a better result than either of the solutions being used separately.

Preventing Machinery Damage

Before any construction or lawn care maintenance is carried out, you should communicate the importance of preserving the integrity of your landscape and all plants. Some service providers are focused on cutting your yard and being done as quickly as possible. This can present an issue, given they are not careful around your trees and shrubs.

Consult with the contractor on the best measures to prevent your tree from being damaged. These situations should be considered before any work is done;

Heavy machinery – this can destroy your root system. With the equipment passing over the soil and roots, its weight can crush or compact the soil, resulting in less room for the roots to spread.

Heavy machinery operator – they may damage the root by injuring the bark of the tree, which may lead to decay of the tree. If this happens, look out for these warning signs

Barriers or Fencing – a barrier should be erected around the tree covering even the outreaching branch, and preventing vehicular damage to the tree.

Damage Prevention for a Thriving Landscape

Whether it be wind, deer, or heavy machinery, your trees – young and mature – are at risk. Taking these minimal steps to protect them is an incredible investment in the future and beauty of your landscape.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266


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Planning Your Perfect Backyard and Garden

Backyard landscape with trees surrounding a fireplace
Backyards are no longer just area and grass behind your home. With adequate landscaping and vision, you can turn this part of the house into an extension of your home, creating a recreation and relaxation spot for your family.

So many fresh and unique ideas are being incorporated into backyard designs and landscapes, including fixing of an outdoor kitchen, fireplace, and other utilities usually found indoors. Discover some ideas to turn your backyard into a functional space for your family to enjoy.

Your Outdoor Living Space

The planning phase is the most important part of creating an outdoor living space. How do you want the backyard space to be used? Do you prefer an open area with direct sunlight, or shade trees that shield the sun and keep your yard cooler? What activities would you love to have done in the backyard?

These are some questions you should ask yourself. The answers would help you select the foliage, plants, whether you would want an outdoor kitchen, a barbecue stand, raised garden beds or even a water fountain!

A beautiful backyard and landscape go a long way to boost the value of your property and also provide recreation for your home. You can get the help of a professional landscaper if you are not sure where to start with your outdoor project.

Landscaping & Hardscaping Your Backyard

Develop a master plan and then carry out your landscaping and hardscaping project in phases, especially if its not realistic to do all at one time.

You may need to obtain a permit and/or consult a utility line locator, if you need to remove trees or extensively disturb the land. With detailed and well-informed planning, you can avoid mistakes and save time, energy and financial resources.

Hardscaping may require tearing up your lawn and damaging plants while plowing soil to create the patios, pavements, and irrigation systems. So at Todd’s we suggest, whenever possible, you install the hardscape before doing your planting.

Add a Small Vegetable Garden to Your Plans

It is an experience tending a garden. The fresh garden produce is more than rewards. It is amazing how garden grown vegetables taste juicy and very interesting.

Backyard garden with raised boxes growing vegetables
Tending to your garden, you know where your fruits and vegetables come from, and you have no doubt or uncertainty as to if they would be safe for consumption. You plant, water, fertilize, tend and harvest your vegetables.

Radishes, tomatoes, beets, squash, lettuce, carrots, cabbages, as well as pepper, are some of the vegetables that deserve a place in your garden.

The Perfect Backyard – Beautiful and Practical

It all begins with a plan – from creating a beautiful landscape to make your neighbors green with envy or just creating a vegetable garden to suit your nutritional needs or a recreational spot for the home, it all begins with planning.

With everything falling in place, you can create a beautiful backyard. While you are at it, you have got professionals to help achieve your dreams.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266


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Tree Expert Shares 5 Important Tree Planting Tips

Tree care professional planting a tree in a properly dug hole
How well a tree grows largely depends on many factors. The time of the year, the shade, the temperature, and other factors come into play to determine the survival of the plant. A tree should be planted in late fall or in early spring. There is also a need for you to control the amount of sunlight the tree receives. Whenever you are planting a tree, the future of your plant should be thoroughly considered. compiled the following five crucial tips you should take note of when it comes to tree planting:

1. Take the adult form of the tree into consideration

This step is extremely important. You need to know how big the mature form of the tree you are planting will be. This knowledge would help you take the space it will occupy into consideration and plan ahead for it. Adequate space should be left between the tree and the structure it will shade. Keeping it too close to it might end up damaging the structure and pruning might not be a probable solution since branches of the tree might fall on the structure and damage it.

Another adverse effect of keeping a tree too close to the house is that due to the extensive nature of some roots, they may damage the foundation of the building, patios, driveways and sidewalks. Also consider the height and location of power lines, since some shady trees will grow to that height.

There are also some factors that determine the health of the tree such as weather condition, soil conditions, regional diseases and pest, and other determinants. It will be a really good idea to contact an experienced arborist or local nursery to help you with the list of trees that would thrive in your environment.

2. Ensure you are digging the right hole

It is important that you consult the appropriate agency that would tell you the appropriate place to plant your trees. You will get all the information you need when you contact 811. There is underground utility located all around and you could mistakenly hit it which might cut off the power to your house, you could fatally injure yourself or incur some hefty fine from the utility company.

A professional locator would be sent to you by the concerned utility company once you call 811 and this process takes only some days. Go to to learn more before digging a hole that could land you in trouble.

3. The depth and width of the hole should be noted

People usually dig holes that are too narrow or too deep and this has an adverse effect on the growth of the plant. Oxygen would not reach the root if the hole is too deep. The root will not be able to hold the ground firmly if the hole is too narrow.

You need to maintain the same depth of soil that the tree was originally planted in when transplanting the tree to its permanent location. Ensure the width of the hole is 3 times the root ball’s diameter, or if it is a bare root tree, 3 times the root’s spread. This will leave space for the root to fully develop and anchor the tree properly.

Put the ball in the hole and then, let the tree face the direction you want it to. Gently refill the hole and ensure that you don’t over fill it. Anchors can be used to hold a newly planted tree until the root is able to perform that function.

4. Mulching a newly planted tree

Weeds competing for nutrients and water will grow beside the newly planted tree, and this might adversely affect the tree. Inhibit the growth of competitors by adding mulch to the surroundings of the plant.

Professional mulching for a newly planted tree to stop weed growth in grassy lawn
Trees naturally fight off competition by mulching their environment every fall. Mulching is very crucial to the growth of the tree and it ensures that water, nutrients and moderate soil temperature are available to the plant.

Mulch should not be too close to the trunk of the tree. Mulching also keeps rodents and other small animals from burrowing or nesting near the tree base. Also, Using organic mulching offer more benefits than inorganic mulching.

5. Retain water by building dirt dam

Almost all trees depend on water. Therefore, you must do everything possible to give them enough of it. You can retain water near the tree by creating a circular dirt dam. Water the tree at its early stages and during droughts. Ensure the root is dry before you water the tree again. The amount of water you should give to your tree should be between 5 and 15.

The Benefits of Proper Tree Care

Trees offer beauty and protection to your property. It offers freshness to your environment during summer and also increases the value of your property. It might also save you on some of your energy bills.

The benefits of trees are numerous and enticing, however, it is necessary that you fully understand everything about tree planting before you go ahead with it. If you follow the steps given above, your tree would put a smile on your face after you have seen the rate at which it is growing.

If you, however, encounter any problem along the way, seek help from a local arborist, garden or tree care professional center.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266


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