Category Archives: Our Blog

After Tree Removal, Can You Plant a New Tree in the Same Spot?

Tree removal can create a void in your landscape, detracting from the beauty and appeal of your property. Planting a new tree is a great way to solve that problem, but you must choose the location with care.

You can plant a new tree where an old one was removed, but should you? You may want to take this approach if the planting site has sentimental value or is crucial to the overall landscape design. Keep in mind, however, that using the same location will require some additional effort on your part.

For best results, consider consulting a Utah arborist for tree removal and replanting recommendations.

After Tree Removal, Can You Plant a New Tree in the Same Spot

Why a New Planting Site Is Better

While it is certainly possible to replant in the same spot after tree removal, doing so isn’t ideal. Certified arborists usually recommend choosing a new planting site for these reasons:

  • The soil may be stripped of nutrients essential to the growth of a sapling.

  • Sawdust from tree removal or stump grinding can change the balance of nutrients in the soil.

  • In the case of disease, the infectious agent may be present in the soil.

What to Consider if You Use the Old Planting Site

If you decide to replant in the same spot, you’ll need to choose your sapling carefully.

Choosing a sapling of the same species isn’t always wise if your old tree was diseased. In fact, if that’s the reason you needed tree removal, you’ll need to select a species that won’t be affected by that particular pathogen.

Consider a native species, one that’s well-suited to your area’s growing conditions. Or, as an alternative, you could plant a shrub or hedge. For recommendations, check with your local county extension office or an experienced certified arborist.

How to Get Your New Sapling Off to a Great Start

Before planting a new tree where one was removed, make sure get rid of all the roots and old plant material. If any is left behind, nitrogen in the soil may be diminished or depleted, and saplings need an adequate supply of nitrogen for healthy growth.

To replant in the same spot, dig a hole about twice the size of the sapling’s root base. Set the sapling in place, then fill the planting hole with good-quality garden soil. Add a layer of organic mulch, leaving a few inches of space around the trunk.

For best results, plant your sapling in the fall. Trees can be planted at other times of the year, but getting them in the ground during the autumn months helps the root system to become established before the warmer summer months.

Do you need tree removal, or do you have questions about replanting afterward? If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area, the certified arborists at Reliable Tree Care can offer expert assistance and advice.

Reliable Tree Care, a northern Utah industry leader for over two decades, is known for providing exceptional workmanship and stellar service at an affordable price. Contact our Murray office today to schedule a free comprehensive yard analysis to discuss tree removal or planting a new tree.

How Much Does Tree Stump Removal Cost?

After removing a tree, many homeowners want tree stump removal. Old stumps aren’t just unsightly — they’re dangerous, can attract insects and harbor disease.

Due to the potential for property damage and the presence of underground utilities, removing a tree stump isn’t a do-it-yourself project. So how much will it cost to hire a professional tree services company?

No two projects are exactly alike, so costs vary. But for most customers, the cost is under $500, and often much less.

How Much Does Tree Stump Removal Cost

Average Costs for Stump Removal

According to, the trusted home improvement marketplace, $298 is the national average stump removal cost.

Most professional tree services companies charge between $2 and $5 per inch in diameter, measured at the stump’s widest point. Using that formula, most people end up paying somewhere in the range of $162 to $473 for removal, although the cost can be upwards of $900 — and that doesn’t include stump grinding.

Rates for Tree Stump Grinding

Professional grinding typically costs about $3 per diameter inch, and most projects are priced around $200. However, several factors, including tree type, accessibility, and root removal, can increase the cost.

Handy homeowners can rent a grinder and do the work themselves — if no utilities are nearby. But with average stump grinder rental prices at around $190, the savings aren’t likely to be significant. Plus, because of the challenges in dealing with local codes and permitting requirements, going the DIY route usually isn’t worth the effort.

Factors that Affect Tree Stump Removal Cost

In determining the price for stump removal, professional tree services companies take the following into account:

Size: The larger the stump, the more complex the root system — and the higher the price for removal.
Tree type: Stumps of dense hardwood trees like oak, elm, and birch can be more difficult — and thus, more costly — to remove.
Root removal: Sprawling root systems are harder to remove, and the additional work adds to the project cost.
Preparation: If the trunk needs to be cut down to ground level, there may be an additional charge. The same goes for stumps that need to be cleared of overgrowth before removal.
Cleanup: After grinding, removing the piles of sawdust left behind may add to the removal cost.

To find out how much it will cost to remove and grind your tree stump, schedule a consultation with a certified arborist in your area. For affordable tree services in the greater Salt Lake City area, reach out to Reliable Tree Care.

As a northern Utah industry leader for more than two decades, Reliable Tree Care has a reputation for top-notch workmanship, exceptional customer service and competitive pricing. Contact our Murray office and schedule a free, comprehensive yard analysis and tree stump removal estimate today.

Tree Disease Control: Treating Trees Infected with Slime Flux

Tree disease control service — when performed by a certified Utah arborist — can help your trees overcome the effects of slime flux.
Tree disease
Also known as wetwood, slime flux is a common bacterial disease that infects many popular northern Utah species, including elm, poplar, dogwood, maple, beech and willow. The bacteria gains entry through wounds from boring insects, improper pruning, broken branches and unintentional injuries by lawnmowers and construction equipment.

With professional tree disease control, wetwood isn’t always a serious problem, and certified arborists have the skills to identify, manage and prevent slime flux.

How to Identify Slime Flux Disease

As the name of this tree disease suggests, slime is a major sign of an infection.

The slime — which has a rather foul odor — oozes from the trunk and runs down the bark. As it dries, a white or pale gray crust may be left behind. Slime seepage usually peaks in the summer, when the bacteria are most active.

Wetwood can also appear as dark brown or black streaks on the trunk or branches, and signs of stress — like wilting, leaf scorch, premature leaf drop and branch dieback — may be noticeable in cases of extreme infection.

How to Manage Slime Flux Disease

The best way to manage wetwood is to maintain the tree’s overall health. With proper care, an infected tree can grow strong enough to isolate and seal off the wounds, mitigating the effects of the disease.

Years ago, drilling a hole in the infected trunk area and inserting a short pipe was common practice. This was done to relieve the internal pressure and direct the slime flow. Now, however, certified arborists rarely drill holes, as it usually does more harm than good.

Tips to Prevent Slime Flux Disease

Healthy trees can conquer wetwood, but certified arborists recommend the following to prevent wetwood from taking hold:

  • Plant trees in locations with little soil compaction from pedestrians and vehicles.
  • Take care to guard against environmental stresses, including drought and extreme temperatures.
  • Avoid injuring your trees — keep lawn care and construction equipment a safe distance away.
  • Treat fresh trunk wounds by carefully removing injured bark.
  • Promptly remove weak and dead branches to eliminate avenues of infection.
  • When trimming or pruning are needed, hire a certified arborist to ensure proper techniques are used.

If you’re worried about wetwood and other tree diseases, contact the certified arborists at Reliable Tree Care.

With over 20 years of experience, the Reliable Tree Care crew has the skill, knowledge and expertise to provide effective strategies for managing and preventing the many tree diseases found in northern Utah. For a free, no-pressure comprehensive yard evaluation and slime flux tree disease control consultation, contact our Murray office today.

Arborist Advice: Handling Tree Damage from a Lightning Strike

Calling in a certified arborist is the best way to deal with tree damage from a lightning strike.

Trees are like natural lightning rods — their height makes them targets. And with at least 30 million strikes occurring each year in the United States, there’s a good chance one of the trees on your northern Utah property could get hit one day.

Handling Tree Damage from a Lightning Strike

A lightning strike can cause significant tree damage, and without proper treatment for your tree, the issue could pose a danger to your home and family. If one of your trees is struck this summer, an experienced arborist will know how to handle the problem.

Identifying Lightning Damage

Experts say that a single lightning bolt contains enough energy to toast 100,000 slices of bread. So it should come as no surprise that, in many cases, you can immediately tell if a tree has been struck by lightning — the trunk is splintered, a branch is knocked off or the bark is wounded, peeled back or blown off.

However, visible damage doesn’t occur with every lightning strike. Sometimes a tree appears undamaged, but dies a few weeks or months later as a result of severe internal injury or unseen damage in the root zone.

Dealing with Lightning Damage

When a lightning strike results in only minor tree damage, an experienced arborist may be able to provide treatment to encourage recovery. Often this entails removing loosened bark, trimming hazardous broken branches and applying fertilizer to stimulate new growth. Supplemental irrigation may also be necessary, and an arborist might employ corrective pruning.

If lightning causes serious tree damage, a certified arborist will recommend removal to keep it from being a property hazard. Likewise, if a damaged tree doesn’t heal after treatment from an experienced arborist, it should be removed as soon as possible.

Preventing Lightning Damage

Preventing a lightning strike might not be possible, but a certified arborist can minimize the risk of tree damage by installing a lightning protection system. This step isn’t always necessary, but you may want to consider protecting historic, rare and specimen trees as well as any that carry personal significance or that people might move under during a storm.

Lightning protection systems must be installed properly, with the correct materials, to ensure long-term tree damage prevention. Though plans can be found online, installation isn’t a do-it-yourself project — play it safe and leave the task to an experienced arborist.

If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area and one of your trees has been struck by lightning, call on the Reliable Tree Care team. Our highly qualified, certified arborists can offer expert advice on how to manage the damage. And if you like, we can provide lightning protection for your special trees.

As a leader among northern Utah certified arborists for more than 20 years, Reliable Tree Care is known for stellar service and competitive pricing. To discuss tree damage from a lightning strike, contact us and schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced arborists today.

Utah Tree Service Solutions for Common Tree Problems

Regular tree services from a certified Utah arborist can help ensure that all your trees grow healthy and strong and continue to thrive year after year. Without proper care and attention, they can develop problems such as becoming vulnerable to disease or pest infestation.

utah tree services

Utah trees can struggle with a variety of challenges, ranging from soil issues to environmental conditions, injury, damage and more.

Lack of Nutrients

Growing wild in the forest, trees benefit from nutrients in the soil that is constantly enriched through the natural ecosystem. Landscaping trees, on the other hand, often suffer from nutrient deficiency.

In Utah, homeowners typically rake up and remove fallen leaves, twigs and bark, preventing the much-needed nourishment in this organic matter from breaking down and replenishing the soil. In addition, trees surrounded by grass have to compete for water and minerals. Fertilization and mulching are among the critical services that Utah arborists recommend to address a lack of nutrients in the soil.

Soil Compaction

Soil compaction can occur for a variety of reasons, including heavy foot traffic, lawn mower use and construction projects. Periodic heavy rains and flooding can make the condition worse, especially if you walk on the lawn or use the mower before the ground has dried out completely.

Overly compacted soil can cause undue stress and subsequently impede healthy growth. To reduce soil compaction, your Utah arborist can employ one or more proven tree care techniques that include loosening the soil, mixing in organic matter, replacing soil around the root zone and vertical mulching.

Limited Root Space

Many trees’ roots can extend far beyond the edge of the leaf canopy in search of moisture and nutrients. Sometimes, however, the expanding roots may run into barriers, including sidewalks and structures.

When space is limited, root growth may decline along with nutrient absorption. This can cause the branches of your trees to weaken. A Utah arborist can address this problem with professional tree services that may include soil remediation, fertilization and removing girdling roots.

External Damage

Trees are often injured by lawn mowers, string trimmers and other landscape equipment. Deer, rabbits and other animals can also cause external damage, typically to the bark.

Mechanical and wildlife damage can affect how trees absorb nutrients and water. Regular inspection and tree services such as proper mulching, fertilizing and watering can optimize long-term tree health and help mitigate the effects of external damage or injuries.

Opportunistic Insects

Trees that have less-than-ideal growing conditions can become stressed, leaving them at greater risk for insect infestation.

Many pests prefer to target stressed trees. Proactive care is the best approach to preventing infestation, but an experienced, certified arborist can utilize specialty insect control treatments if opportunistic pests become a problem.

For expert assistance from a local, certified arborist team, contact Reliable Tree Care. We have the training, knowledge, skill and experience to give your trees the attention they need to thrive. To speak with an experienced arborist, contact our Murray, Utah, office today and schedule a complimentary yard evaluation and tree services estimate.

Tree Insect Control to Combat the Flathead Borer

Without tree insect control services, pests like flathead borers can have a devastating effect on your landscape.

Tree Insect Control:

Pacific flatheaded and flatheaded apple tree borers attack fruit and ornamental trees here in northern Utah. Newly planted trees are particularly prone to borer activity, as are those that are stressed or wounded.

A flathead borer infestation can weaken or even lead to the death of a tree. Fortunately, professional tree insect control services can prevent the spread of these destructive pests.

What Are Flathead Borers?

Flathead borers are wood-boring pests about one-half to three-quarters of an inch long. These pests have oval heads and flattened, boat-shaped bodies. Pacific flatheaded borers are brown with gray markings, while the apple tree species is greenish-bronze.

Both types of borers lay eggs in sun-exposed bark crevices. Here in northern Utah, the months of June and July are peak times for egg laying. By mid to late summer, the eggs hatch and the larvae immediately begin to bore into the plant.

How Can You Tell if You Have These Tree Insects?

You might spot adult borers on the sunny sides of your tree trunks in the summertime. Unfortunately, the adults are not always easily visible, even on badly infested trees.

To identify a borer infestation, inspect the trunk and branches for common symptoms. Signs of a potential pest infestation include the following:

  • Cracked, peeling or splitting bark
  • Sap oozing from the trunk or lower limb wounds
  • Bark areas that are lumpy, spongy or sunken
  • Sawdust-like material under flaking bark
  • Oval or D-shaped holes left by adult borers exiting the tree

Tree Insect Control Can Manage Flathead Borers

Most flathead borer infestations can be prevented with the help of a certified arborist and professional tree services as well as a few hands-on practices.

Selecting trees that are well-suited to your local growing conditions will go a long way toward heading off these destructive pests, as will using the proper planting techniques. In addition, maintaining tree heath and having regular professional services can stop borers — and most other damaging insects — from invading your northern Utah landscape.

When an infestation is identified, insect control professionals typically apply an insecticidal bark spray to kill newly laid eggs and prevent further attack from adult borers. A soil drench with a systemic insecticide may also be effective for targeting any larvae currently inside.

Professional arborists can determine the best approach for controlling all types of destructive pests that plague us here in northern Utah. For professional assistance in the greater Salt Lake City area, turn to the insect control team at Reliable Tree Care.

As a leader in the tree services industry for more than 20 years, Reliable Tree Care has the expertise to offer effective, environmentally friendly solutions for managing flathead borers. For a no-cost, no-obligation comprehensive yard evaluation and tree insect control consultation, contact our Murray office today.

Fruit Tree Care: How to Thin Your Fruit Trees

Proactive fruit tree care can benefit all your trees, keeping them healthy, strong and productive for many years to come.

Fruit Tree Care: How to Thin Your Fruit Trees

Thinning, (removing some of the fruits before they have a chance to mature) might seem counterintuitive. But in the long run, the practice provides many significant benefits. Thinning helps prevent limb damage from a heavy load, discourages early fruit drop and improves the quality of the harvest.

The quantity of young fruits you need to remove varies depending on the type of trees you have.


Break up fruit clusters so that one choice apple remains. Usually the best one to keep is the middle bloom in the cluster, as that has the best chance to develop into a large, healthy apple. As you’re thinning each branch, try to leave about 6 to 8 inches between the remaining apples.


Apricot trees are thinned by breaking up the clusters and leaving one healthy apricot in each one. For a bountiful harvest, try to leave the remaining apricots about 6 inches apart.


Cherry trees don’t typically require thinning, but this practice can help a stressed tree or one affected by early fruit drop. In either case, thin crowded clusters and leave no more than 10 cherries on each spur.


When thinning peach trees, remove enough young peaches to leave just one every 8 inches. Branches that carry more peaches than that are at risk for breaking due to the fruit’s heavy weight.


Unless a pear tree has a history of early drop or bearing fruits biennially, thinning isn’t usually necessary. When thinning is recommended, all but one pear should be removed from each cluster. Leave 4 to 6 inches between the remaining pears for best results.


A plum tree can bear many fruits on each shoot, making thinning particularly beneficial. Once the plums are large enough to be picked, thin out the clusters, making sure the remaining plums are about 4 to 6 inches apart.

Utah Arborist Tips for Thinning Fruit Trees

To thin your trees, all you need is your hands or a pair of sharp pruners — and a ladder if you can’t reach all the tree limbs bearing fruit.

Generally, you should thin a tree in the early stages of fruit development, before its fruits reach an inch in diameter. In northern Utah, arborists recommend thinning before the end of July.

Do you have questions about thinning, pruning or otherwise caring for your trees? If you live in northern Utah, Reliable Tree Care can offer expert advice on these practices as well as disease and pest management. Our expert arborist team can also handle these tasks for you. Contact our Murray, Utah, location today for help with your Utah fruit tree care.

Tree Care Tips: Protecting Your Trees During Home Construction 

Tree care is an important part of planning a home construction project. Construction activities can damage or kill your beautiful, healthy trees. But with a little planning and forethought, you can ensure that your landscape survives your building project unscathed.

Tree Care Tips: Protecting Your Trees During Home Construction 

Working with an experienced local arborist such as the Reliable Tree Care team can help minimize the impact of construction on your trees. Certified arborists understand the steps necessary for protecting against tree damage during a home building project.

Evaluate Trees Near the Planned Construction Site

Before the building project begins, your arborist will walk the property and conduct a tree inventory.

Landscaping trees that are close enough to be damaged by the building process can often be moved, but tree removal is also an option. Some trees may be too mature to transplant successfully, and any that are severely diseased or infested with insects may need to come down.

Prepare Trees Before Construction Begins

Not every tree near a home construction project site needs to be moved or removed, however. But trees that do remain in place need some extra care and attention before any work starts.

Healthier trees stand a better chance of surviving the construction process. To ensure the trees’ best possible health, certified arborists perform several tree care services, including pruning, soil testing, fertilizing and mulching.

Create Barriers to Protect Trees from Construction Damage

For a tree to stay healthy and strong, construction work must steer completely clear of the protected root zone, or the area within the tree’s dripline.

To avoid construction damage, an experienced arborist can create barriers to protect the root zones of landscaping trees. In addition, your arborist may recommend having your builder sign a landscape protection contract, to help ensure off-limits areas are not disturbed during construction.

Inspect Trees After Your Construction Project Is Complete

Once the construction work is complete, your arborist can carefully inspect landscaping trees for damage.

Some problems may not be immediately apparent, but certified arborists are skilled at identifying early signs of stress, such as leaf wilt, top dieback, slow growth and early fall coloring. Stressed trees are more likely to become diseased or infested, which can lead to their deaths.

With comprehensive tree care services, it is possible to save landscaping trees with construction damage. To treat trunk and crown injuries, an arborist may prune, improve soil aeration at the root zone and install cables or bracing rods. Ongoing monitoring is typically necessary to ensure tree preservation.

If you’re planning a Salt Lake City-area construction project and want to protect your landscaping trees, call on the certified arborists at Reliable Tree Care.

As a leader in the northern Utah tree-services industry for more than two decades, Reliable Tree Care is known for quality workmanship, exceptional customer service and competitive pricing. Contact our Murray office today to schedule a free, no-pressure yard evaluation, or to discuss tree care during your home construction project.

4 Reasons Tree Trimming Is Important

Northern Utah homeowners may neglect tree trimming, thinking they’re saving money or that this service isn’t critical. The reality is that giving your trees a regular trim is an investment in their health and longevity.

4 Reasons Tree Trimming Is Important

Landscaping trees add beauty and value to your property, and maintenance is essential to protect that value. If you’re tempted to skip regular tree-trimming services, take a moment to consider all the reasons you shouldn’t.

No. 1: Tree Appearance

Trees that aren’t regularly trimmed can grow to look unbalanced and misshapen. Branches may sprout off in strange directions and this uneven growth can make your trees appear bedraggled.

Trimming is like a much-needed haircut, one that enhances the tree’s natural shape. Thinning out limbs and cutting back unwieldy branches is beneficial because it improves the tree’s appearance. Trimming is especially important for those trees you planted to boost the appeal of a property.

No. 2: Landscape Aesthetics

When you don’t regularly trim trees, the aesthetics of your landscape can be affected.

Densely packed branches can block sun and prevent rain from reaching the grass and flowers growing under trees, inhibiting their growth. Regular tree trimming can ensure that enough sunlight and moisture get through the branches. In addition, trimming can enhance your landscape’s appearance by removing limbs that obstruct your view of a lake, valley or other scenery.

No. 3: Tree Health

Overgrowth negatively affects the health of a tree. Without trimming, trees can become weaker and will be less likely to survive.

Trimming for tree health is often referred to as pruning, and it involves removing branches that are diseased, infested or interfering with healthy growth. Regular trimming keeps trees strong, creates a healthier structure and reduces the need for future corrective pruning.

No. 4: Safety

Property safety is another important reason regular tree trimming is necessary.

Trees with dead, diseased or infested branches pose a significant risk. In heavy winds or a severe storm, the limbs can fall easily and damage your property and your home — and someone could get badly injured. The presence of hazardous branches is the most critical reason to get your trees trimmed periodically.

If you’re convinced that regular tree trimming is a must, hire a certified local arborist for the job. An arborist will give your trees the best possible care and ensure that they continue to grow strong and beautiful for many years to come.

For expert trimming in the greater Salt Lake City area, reach out to Reliable Tree Care.

Reliable Tree Care offers a free, no-pressure comprehensive yard evaluation and tree services estimate to northern Utah homeowners. To schedule yours, or to learn more about our tree-trimming service, contact our Murray office today.

Seek an Arborist’s Advice about Tree Removal

Get an arborist’s opinion first if you’re thinking of tree removal. This is even more important if the tree is old.

Seek an Arborist’s Advice about Tree Removal

Making the decision to remove an old tree is never easy, and it can be difficult to know when its time has come. Because this decision should be based on several factors, including its health and location, getting advice from a local certified arborist is important.

Not all old trees need to be removed. If cared for properly, many can remain in place for years to come. A local certified arborist has the expertise to tell if yours poses a problem. If so, they can remove it.

Why Your Arborist May Recommend Old Tree Removal

In evaluating trees for removal, a certified arborist is guided by a risk assessment protocol. This involves several key considerations regarding the potential for risk, including:

  • Does the tree have large dead branches, disease, pest infestation or other problems?
  • Is it in danger of dropping large limbs or falling?
  • Are the roots creating structural damage on the property?
  • Does the placement make the property difficult to use?
  • Could removal benefit the local ecosystem?

If the answer to any of those questions is yes, the arborist may recommend removing the tree.

Keeping and Caring for Old Trees

Sometimes, trees have sentimental value — and that alone may override a decision based on future risk.

For example, a homeowner might be reluctant to take down a tree that was planted to commemorate their grandchild’s birth, or one that plays a role in treasured family memories. In those cases, whenever possible, your arborist can help you explore alternatives to removal.

Ongoing services such as proper fertilization, branch trimming, insect management and disease control can often help homeowners delay the removal of their old trees.

Making a Decision about Tree Removal

If you’re concerned about the old trees on your property, a local certified arborist can assess their condition and give you an expert opinion on whether you need to remove them. If they can be saved, an arborist can offer tips and services to help them remain healthy and strong.

Ultimately, the decision to keep or take down your old tree is yours to make. In addition to weighing your comfort level about future risk, consider the cost of removal versus the cost of regular services.

Would you like to have a local, certified arborist take a look at your old trees? If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area, schedule a consultation with the Reliable Tree Care.

With over 20 years of experience, Reliable Tree Care has the skill and knowledge to recommend an appropriate course of action for you. To discuss tree removal with an expert local arborist, contact our Murray office today and schedule a free comprehensive yard evaluation.