Category Archives: Our Blog

Why Hire a Professional Holiday Lighting Service?

Talk to a professional holiday lighting service this year, before you untangle the strands of lights and haul out the ladder.

Creating a festive outdoor light display can be a huge hassle, and many northern Utah homeowners have come to realize that leaving the task to the pros is the best way to make the season bright. Here’s why you may want to start a new tradition and hire a professional service for your holiday lighting.

professional holiday lighting


Who isn’t extremely busy at this time of year? Hire a professional holiday lighting service, and you’ll have more time to enjoy the joyous season with your family and friends.


Hanging holiday lights on your rooftop and trees can be dangerous, and every year thousands of people suffer injuries. Let the pros take on the task, and you can stay safe on the ground.


When freezing temperatures hit, most people don’t look forward to spending time outside. With a professional holiday lighting service, you won’t have to brave the cold – you get to stay inside, where it’s warm and cozy.


Want the brightest, most durable holiday lights? Without question, the high-quality lighting a professional service provides is far superior to the options offered at local retail stores.


If you’ve always wanted to have the most spectacular holiday lighting display in the neighborhood, hiring a professional service allows you to achieve that goal. The pros can customize a design that perfectly enhances your home and property features.


Fasteners and cords can mar the beauty of a holiday lighting display. A professional service puts up light strands with the utmost care, using property-friendly clips that are color-matched to the backdrop and making sure the cords stay neatly hidden.


Do you get frustrated when a bulb goes out or a winter storm brings down a light strand? If you hire a professional service, you won’t have to maintain your seasonal display – the pros will come out whenever the lighting needs attention.


Taking down a light display can be just as much of a headache – and just as unsafe – as installation. Choose a professional holiday lighting service, and removal won’t be your job. At the end of the season, the pros will return to remove the lights, safely packaging the strands for storage.

Are you ready to skip the headaches and win the neighborhood holiday light fight? If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area or one of the surrounding northern Utah communities, let the Reliable Tree Care team handle your outdoor home and tree lighting.

Reliable Tree Care can make your property merry and bright with an amazing custom light display, and our season-long service – which includes installation, maintenance and removal — comes at a surprisingly affordable price. For more details on our professional holiday lighting service, contact our Murray office today.

How an Expert Tree Service Can Benefit Your Utah Landscape

Many Utah homeowners call on an expert tree service company when they have a specific need, such as insect control, disease management or removal. That makes perfect sense, of course – but effective tree care goes beyond these basic arborist services.

Trees need attention to stay healthy, strong and beautiful. With expert tree service from a local certified arborist – like the Reliable Tree Care team – yours will continue to thrive for generations. Below, we explain four ways professional care can benefit your Utah landscape.

expert tree service landscape

Comprehensive Yard Evaluation

Do you know what tree species you have on your Utah property? And do you understand how to care for them properly?

During a comprehensive yard evaluation, an arborist will walk the landscape to identify the species you own, offering expert advice on their care. While completing this tree service, the arborist will also evaluate the health status of every specimen on your property, looking for signs of pests, disease and stress that need to be addressed.

Proper Pruning and Trimming

Do you have a solid understanding of the proper techniques for pruning and trimming? Unless you’ve had arborist training – or were born with a green thumb – you could end up doing more harm than good if you take on the tasks yourself.

For your own personal safety and the future health and beauty of your trees, let a professional tree service company handle the pruning and trimming. A certified arborist understands which techniques to use and how to make cuts that don’t compromise tree integrity.

Efficient Root Fertilization

Do you already fertilize your trees? If you aren’t careful in your fertilizer selection, the products you apply may not provide the right nutrients to encourage healthy growth.

An expert tree service company offers professional-level fertilization treatments that are more efficient and effective. Sometimes, injecting nutrients deeply into the soil near the roots is the best solution. Certified arborists also offer mycorrhizae fungal treatment to help with root system development.

Seasonal Protection

Do you consider what your trees need when the seasons change? To effectively fend off insects, disease and stress, seasonal protection is essential.

Trees are vulnerable to freezing cold temperatures and require special attention in the winter. Spring storms can also threaten their health, as can the heat of summer. And in the fall, they often need late-season foliar treatments to quickly improve their health before the cold weather arrives. A certified arborist can handle all of these types of necessary seasonal protective treatments.

Have we convinced you to hire an expert tree service company? At Reliable Tree Care, a northern Utah industry leader for more than 20 years, our highly-skilled certified arborists provide free, no-hassle comprehensive yard evaluations to homeowners and businesses in the greater Salt Lake City area and all along the Wasatch Front.

Reliable Tree Care also offers a range of effective, affordable services – including pruning, trimming, root fertilization and seasonal protection – that can preserve the health and beauty of your trees. We also offer professional rooftop and treetop holiday lighting service, illuminating your property without causing any damage.

For more information on how our expert tree service can benefit your Utah landscape, contact our Murray office today.

Tree Trimming and Utility Lines – What You Need to Know

As a property owner, you have control over any tree trimming that takes place. Right?

Not necessarily. Your utility company has the right to trim trees on your northern Utah property – and they can do so without your permission. Actually, they don’t even have to let you know ahead of time.

Why is this? As it turns out, utility companies take on trimming for a very good reason – to help prevent widespread blackouts.

Professional gardener pruning a tree

Tree Trimming Can Prevent Power Outages

In August 2003, a utility line fault in Ohio led to a massive blackout. More than 50 million people throughout the northeast United States and Canada were left without electricity – and in many areas, power wasn’t restored until two days later.

While several factors contributed to the power outage, tree overgrowth was the catalyst. The fault began when tree branches came into contact with the utility lines.

Since then, tree trimming for clearance around power lines is mandated by law. Utility companies are required to manage vegetation growth as a means of preventing future blackouts.

Tree Trimming Near Utility Lines Requires Expert Care

If you have trees growing near power lines, let the utility company take care of the problem – don’t try to trim them yourself.

Tree trimming around utility lines is incredibly dangerous. Plan the job incorrectly, and a falling branch could knock out the electricity in your neighborhood. Worse, you could accidentally come into contact with a high-voltage wire.

If you don’t trust your utility company to trim properly, contact a local certified arborist with expertise in trimming for power line clearance.

Planning to Plant New Trees?

If you’re thinking about adding more trees to your property, taking care in choosing a planting site can help prevent the need for trimming by the utility company.

You don’t want to plant too close to the power lines, as utility companies are required to trim branches within a certain distance. Typically, this is about ten feet, but trimming is often done to a greater degree to account for future growth.

In addition, think carefully before deciding which type of tree to plant. To ensure clearance around power lines, species that grow to reach heights of over 25 feet need to be planted at least 25 feet away. Any that grow taller should be planted at an even further distance.

For expert advice on planting to avoid utility line interference, turn to a local certified arborist – like the professionals at Reliable Tree Care.

As a northern Utah industry leader for more than 20 years, Reliable Tree Care strives to provide effective and affordable arborist services to homeowners and businesses throughout the greater Salt Lake City area and along the Wasatch Front. Contact our Murray office and schedule a free, no-obligation comprehensive yard evaluation to discuss tree trimming and planting around utility lines with one of our expert certified arborists today.

Falling Trees and Property Damage – Who’s Responsible?

Paying to repair property damage from falling trees can be expensive. Which leads to the question – who has to cover that cost?

The answer isn’t clear-cut, as several factors come into play when determining who’s financially responsible for damage from a falling tree. However, it generally comes down to ownership and insurance coverage. Here’s what you need to know.

falling trees property damage

Who Owns the Tree?

To figure out who has to pay for property damage, you need to know who owns the tree.

Ownership is based upon where the trunk sits. If the trunk is on your property, you’re the owner. Trees with trunks that are situated on your neighbor’s property are theirs – even if the foliage hangs over your lawn. When the trunk is directly on the property line, you and your neighbor are co-owners.

Is the Owner Responsible for Property Damage?

If you own a tree that falls and damages to your neighbor’s property, but you aren’t at fault – the problem resulted from a heavy storm or other “act of God” – you aren’t liable for the costs of repair. To cover the expense, your neighbor will have to file a claim with their homeowner’s insurance provider or pay out of pocket to repair the damage.

However, if it can be proven that the property damage was caused by your negligence in tree care, you could be held financially responsible.

Does Homeowner’s Insurance Always Cover Damage from Falling Trees?

Let’s say you put off removing a tree you knew was hazardous and you’re found to be liable for damage that occurred as a result of it falling. Can you rely on your homeowner’s insurance to foot the bill?

You’ll need to check the specifics of your policy. Some only cover claims that don’t involve any negligence or limit coverage to certain types of damage. Other policies pay for all property damage caused by falling trees, regardless of the cause.

Who Pays if a Falling Tree Damages a Car?

If you own both the fallen tree and the vehicle that gets damaged, your homeowner’s insurance probably won’t cover repairs. If your auto insurance includes comprehensive coverage, however, you only have to pay your deductible.

When your falling tree damages someone else’s car, your auto insurance policy may cover the repair cost if you have comprehensive coverage. However, that might not be the case if you’re found negligent.

If you aren’t liable for the vehicle damage, the car owner can turn to their own comprehensive coverage insurance. If they don’t have that type of coverage in their policy, however, the repair costs will be their responsibility.

Are any of your trees at risk of falling? A Utah certified arborist can check for structural stability and provide effective solutions – such as cabling and bracing or removal – to prevent tree hazards from creating costly property damage.

If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area, Reliable Tree Care can ensure your property is free of hazardous trees. Our certified arborist team has over 20 years of experience managing and preventing tree problems, and our services come at an affordable price.

To prevent falling trees from causing property damage, call our Murray UT office to schedule a complimentary, comprehensive yard evaluation from Reliable Tree Care.

Do You Need a Permit for Tree Removal in Utah

Chances are, you probably won’t need a permit for tree removal. In most cases, you don’t need anyone’s permission if you want to take down one of the trees on your northern Utah property.

That said, there are some instances where the decision might not be in your hands. Some species are protected by state law, and the location of both your home and the tree could prevent you from proceeding with the removal.

permit tree removal

Permits are Necessary for Utah Heritage Species

The Utah Heritage Tree Act was enacted back in 1975 to preserve the state’s scenic beauty by protecting species that are rare or have historical significance as well as specimens that have exceptional size, form or age for their species.

A permit is required to remove a heritage tree, and several species are included in the state registry. For assistance identifying whether or not yours is a heritage species, check with a local certified arborist or the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands.

Check Local Regulations Regarding Removal

If the tree you want to remove isn’t a heritage species, but you live in a planned community or development, you might need permission from your homeowners’ association. HOAs have their own guidelines and may not favor removal unless absolutely necessary.

In addition, if you live in an incorporated city, check with local officials before going ahead with tree removal. Some cities have codes and regulations that could impinge upon your plans.

Don’t Remove a Tree Unless You Own It

Before removing a tree, make sure you own it – and that’s only the case if the entire trunk sits on your property. If any part of the trunk is situated on the property line, you’ll need to get your neighbor’s permission first.

Skip this step, and you could be held liable in court. Utah law states that anyone who cuts down a tree without permission may be compelled to pay the owner up to three times its value.

Think Twice Before Proceeding with Tree Removal

Just because you can go forward with tree removal doesn’t mean you should. Trees offer shade and protection from harsh winds, while also adding considerable value and beauty to your northern Utah property.

For a significantly damaged or hazardous tree, removal may be necessary. However, sometimes you can save one that seems to be unhealthy or at risk. So, before you make a decision, contact a local certified arborist to perform an in-person inspection.

If your property is the greater Salt Lake City area or anywhere along the Wasatch Front, call on the experienced professionals at Reliable Tree Care for expert advice. Our certified arborists can help you decide if removal is necessary. If so, our crew has the skills and equipment to get the job done safely and efficiently.

Reliable Tree Care offers free comprehensive yard evaluations to northern Utah homeowners and businesses. To discuss tree removal with one of our expert certified arborists, contact our Murray office today.

Does Peeling Tree Bark Mean You Need an Arborist?

Have you spotted peeling tree bark in your landscape recently? Seeking advice from a local arborist could be in your best interest.

Peeling tree bark isn’t always a cause for concern. But, in some cases, bark loss can point to a bigger problem – and when it comes to tree care, certified arborists are the experts. If one of your trees has peeling bark, an arborist can check it out and, if necessary, nurse it back to health.

Peeling Tree Bark Arborist

Peeling Bark is Normal for Some Species

Peeling can be a natural part of the growth process, as the old outer covering is shed to make way for new bark. This may occur very slowly – at such a slow pace that the bark falling away is hardly noticeable – or the shedding process may be quite dramatic.

Tree species that are often prone to peeling bark include:

  • Sycamore
  • Maple
  • Birch
  • Oak
  • Pine
  • Ash

Signs that Peeling Tree Bark is a Problem

Bark loss isn’t always due to growth – peeling can also be caused by weather stress, insect infestations and certain fungal diseases.

When you can see healthy bark under the peeling layers, there probably isn’t a problem. If, however, you spy any of the following signs, your tree could use an arborist’s care:

  • Peeling after excessive summer heat
  • Bark cracking and peeling away after frost
  • Signs of stress like cankers, water spouts, oozing sap, wilting leaves, dying branches or early leaf drop

What to Do if You Notice Trees with Peeling Bark

If you see peeling, your first step is to consider the species – shedding large chunks of bark could be completely normal. In that case, you shouldn’t need to take any further action.

If peeling isn’t a normal phenomenon for the species, but you don’t see any other symptoms, weather stress is a likely culprit. To help a weather-stressed tree, you can try watering when the soil is dry and applying a layer of organic mulch.

A smarter approach, however, is to seek out the expertise of a local certified arborist. Peeling bark can affect the overall health and lifespan of a tree, and an arborist has the skill and training to treat the problem. Plus, if the issue is due to pest infestation or disease, an experienced arborist can recommend effective treatments or, if needed, provide tree removal service to keep the problem from affecting the other plants on your property.

Do any of your trees have peeling bark? If you suspect a problem – or you simply want a professional opinion – call on a local certified arborist. In the greater Salt Lake City area, the Reliable Tree Care team can offer expert advice and assistance.

Reliable Tree Care, a northern Utah industry leader for over 20 years, offers free comprehensive yard evaluations and arborist treatment estimates to homeowners and businesses. If your trees have peeling bark, contact our Murray office and schedule a complimentary, no-pressure property analysis from a highly-trained and experienced certified arborist today.

Fall Tree Pruning in Utah – Yes or No?

What are the rules for fall tree pruning? So, should you schedule this task (or undertake it yourself) in the coming weeks?

Many homeowners believe it’s a good idea to prune once the leaves drop, as leafless branches have all of their imperfections exposed, making it easy to see where to cut. However, certified arborists don’t always believe that fall tree pruning is advisable.

fall tree pruning Utah

Why Heavy Fall Pruning Is Not Recommended

Certified arborists advise taking a cautious approach to pruning in the fall.

Heavy pruning in multiple areas should wait and, depending on which species reside on your property, you may want to avoid using the pruners at all during the autumn months.

Heavy fall pruning can lead to future tree health problems. Branch wounds heal more slowly in the fall than they do at other times of year. And, during the fall, decay fungi can spread more easily and profusely.

When Light Fall Tree Pruning Can Be Beneficial

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to planting and nurturing trees, light tree pruning can be done during the fall or any other time of the year that it becomes necessary.

It’s important to note that light pruning involves only the removal of dead and severely damaged wood. This means that, during the fall months, you’re usually safe to cut off twigs, limbs and branches that are too far gone to recover once springtime returns.

Timing Your Tree Pruning

So, if not the fall, when should you prune your trees?

This depends largely on which species live on your property. As a general guideline, however, pruning after the coldest part of winter is an arborist-recommended approach for encouraging vigorous new growth in the spring.

Trees can also be pruned during the summer, after the finish of seasonal growth. Summertime pruning is done to direct growth or to slow the development of specific branches.

Certified arborists also prune frequently to enhance flowering. Spring bloomers are pruned once their flowers fade, usually around the middle of summer. For summer-flowering trees, pruning may be completed in either the wintertime or during the early spring months.

Do you have questions on tree pruning? A Utah certified arborist is your best resource for expert answers and advice. With more than two decades of experience, Reliable Tree Care is the go-to northern Utah industry leader.

The highly-skilled Reliable Tree Care crew can keep your trees growing healthy and strong all year long. If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area, contact our Murray office today to discuss fall tree pruning with one of our expert certified arborists.

Tree Insect Control: Pests that Infest Ornamental Aspens

If you have ornamental aspens on your property, you may need a professional tree insect control service.

Aspens thrive in the forests of the Intermountain West, but they aren’t as well adapted to the environmental conditions of the Wasatch Front. When aspens are planted outside their preferred region, they’re more susceptible to insect infestations.

tree insect control aspens

Several pests can cause problems for ornamental aspen trees. But with professional tree insect control service, you can avoid four types of insects that commonly infest aspens.

Aspen Borers

A few different species of boring beetles like to infest ornamental aspen trees, tunneling into the trunks and weakening the wood.

The most effective method of insect control for aspen borers is to maintain vigorous tree health. Systemic insecticides can also be helpful, applied to soil within the dripline or injected into the trunk. Tree insect services may also include trunk sprays to prevent borer infestations.

Tent Caterpillars

Western tent caterpillars defoliate ornamental aspens by creating a webbed tent around groups of leaves as protection against predators.

While these pests don’t normally cause tree death, infestation is rather unsightly. Insect control of tent caterpillars may involve pruning webbed limbs as they appear or carefully burning the tents. If the leaves are completely covered, a microbial insecticide spray of the canopy may be used. For aspens that are too large for a canopy spray, a systemic insecticide can be injected into the trunk or applied to the roots.

Aspen Leaf Miners

Leaf miners munch on aspen leaves, and their feeding activity results in ugly blotches and winding patterns.

As most leaf miner infestations don’t have a significant impact on tree health, insect control isn’t always necessary. If treatment is a must — either due to the amount of damage or the look of the leaves — insecticide can be applied to the foliage.

Oyster Shell Scale Insects

Oyster shell scale infestations form unsightly crusting on ornamental aspen limbs and twigs. Often, these insects cause enough damage to kill branches or even entire trees.

Tree insect services treat oyster-shell-infected aspens by suffocating overwintering scale with a dormant oil in the spring before bud break. Systemic insecticides may also be considered, or oyster shell activity may be controlled with sticky bands and contact insecticides on infested branches.

Aspen Galls

Galls aren’t technically a type of insect. Rather, they’re swollen growths on twigs, leaves and leaf buds formed by several types of pests.

Pests dwelling within aspen galls aren’t susceptible to insecticides, but adults that emerge can be suppressed. Tree insect control services may use contact insecticides to kill off the adult pests, and limbs with heavy galling may be pruned.

Are you concerned about pests infesting your ornamental aspens? For professional tree insect control service in the greater Salt Lake City area and along the Wasatch Front, turn to the expert certified arborists at Reliable Tree Care.

As a leader in the northern Utah tree services industry for more than two decades, Reliable Tree Care has the skill, knowledge and expertise to offer effective, environmentally friendly solutions for managing pest infestations in ornamental aspens.

To schedule a free, no-hassle comprehensive yard analysis and tree insect control consultation, contact our Murray office today.

Fruit Tree Care: Controlling Suckers and Water Sprouts

Fruit tree care comes with many challenges, particularly for new gardeners. Without close attention, insects, diseases and environmental issues can all affect production.

The same goes for suckers and water sprouts. These vigorous new growth types take much-needed energy away from fruit trees, which can lead to a reduced yield.

Fruit Tree Care Controlling Suckers and Water Sprouts

What Are Tree Suckers and Water Sprouts?

While the terms are often used interchangeably, water sprouts and suckers are two types of undesirable tree growth. They often show up after overpruning or excessive watering, such as might occur with flood irrigation or a big storm, or when the tree experiences stress.

Suckers are shoots that originate at the root system, popping up near ground level. Water sprouts are quite similar in nature and appearance, but these growths appear above ground, stemming from the trunk or branches.

How Do You Remove Tree Suckers and Water Sprouts?

Certified arborists recommend removing suckers and sprouts as quickly as possible. These growths are considered invasive, as they can affect both fruit yield and overall tree health.

To remove a sucker, use pruners to cut the shoot at a 45-to-60-degree angle. Take care not to damage the trunk, but try to remove as much of the growth as you can. If necessary, move some of the underlying soil to make your cut at the base of the sucker.

The process of removing a water sprout is much the same. Simply use a sharp cutting tool to prune away the shoot close to the trunk or branch. For faster healing, try not to leave much of a stub behind.

Spring is the best time to remove suckers and sprouts, but unusual new growths can crop up at any time during the growing season. If you see any unwanted shoots, don’t hesitate to grab the pruners and cut them away.

Can You Prevent Fruit Tree Suckers and Water Sprouts?

Unwanted tree growth generally appears as a response to stress, such as disease, insect infestation, drought or overwatering. For the best chance at prevention, fruit tree care experts recommend eliminating as many sources of stress as possible.

Keep your trees in good health, making sure they’re properly watered and fertilized, and unwanted growths are less likely to become a problem. In addition, be sure to prune regularly — but don’t overprune, as that can stimulate the development of sprouts and suckers.

Regular tree health evaluations from an experienced certified arborist can help prevent problematic new growth. For expert advice in the greater Salt Lake City area, turn to the professionals at Reliable Tree Care. We have the expertise and skill to manage and prevent many tree health problems, including water sprouts and suckers. To schedule a free, no-hassle comprehensive yard evaluation and fruit tree care consultation, contact our Murray office today.

The Utah Arborist’s Guide to Tree Watering

A certified Utah arborist is an excellent resource for information on tree watering.

Keeping trees adequately watered is essential for their long-term health. Too much or too little water can result in stress and damage. For that reason, experienced arborists consider proper watering to be one of the most important aspects of tree care and maintenance.

For expert tree-watering advice based upon your specific climate and growing conditions, call on the experienced team at Reliable Tree Care.

The Utah Arborist’s Guide to Tree Watering

How to Tell When it’s Time to Water Your Trees

At first glance, it isn’t always easy to tell if your trees need water. For that reason, certified arborists recommend checking the soil.

To do so, dig about 6 to 8 inches down. If the soil feels moist, wait another day or two to water. If the earth seems dry, or if you have difficulty digging into the soil, water immediately.

How to Water Trees the Right Way

For effective watering, you need to reach the roots. To that end, certified arborists advise against frequent, light watering.

Instead, deeply water the soil within the dripline, reaching from the trunk to the ends of the branches. To help retain the moisture as long as possible, be sure to mulch. Arborists generally recommend applying a 2-to-4-inch layer of organic mulch, leaving a few inches of space around the trunk.

How to Recognize the Signs You’re Overwatering Your Trees

If the soil at the base of a tree is constantly damp, you’re probably overwatering. Other signs of overwatering include:

New growth that withers before it matures
Young leaves that turn light green or yellow
Leaves that look vibrant and healthy but are brittle and break easily
Algae or mushroom growth in the soil within the dripline

How to Recognize the Signs You’re Underwatering Your Trees

Dry soil is a clear indicator that you’re underwatering. Utah arborists also advise looking for other signs, including:

Leaves that are wilted, curled or brown at the edges
A sparse canopy with undersized or off-color leaves
Premature fall color
Early leaf drop

Are your trees getting too much or too little water? If you’re not sure, call on the professional arborist team at Reliable Tree Care.

With over 20 years of experience, the Reliable Tree Care crew has the knowledge and skill to keep your trees growing healthy and strong. If you live in northern Utah, contact our Murray office today to schedule an appointment with one of our highly qualified Utah arborists.