Category Archives: Our Blog

Tree Disease Control: Treating Trees Affected by Anthracnose

A tree disease control service can help with a variety of problems, but getting help is even more important if your trees are affected by anthracnose.

Tree Disease Control: Treating Trees Affected by Anthracnose

Often referred to as twig, shoot or leaf blight, tree anthracnose is caused by a fungal infection. The disease thrives during extended periods of cool, wet weather and can be spread by watering. Without treatment, infected trees can become weaker, increasing the risk for insect infestation and permanent damage.

But with proper tree disease control, anthracnose can be managed and even prevented.

How to Identify Tree Anthracnose

Symptoms of anthracnose can vary depending on the plant host, the weather and what time of year the fungal infection occurs. To identify the disease, look for the following common signs:

  • Leaves: Anthracnose generally appears as small, irregular tan or brown spots, often located close to the leaf veins. Infected leaves may also be curled or distorted. Left untreated, defoliation can occur.
  • Branches: The tips of young twigs can be killed by this tree disease. The lower and inner branches are most often affected, but the blight can spread further up the trunk to reach the higher limbs.
  • Fruit: On fruit trees are infected with anthracnose, the disease creates small, dark sunken spots on the crops. Eventually, the fruit begins to rot.

How to Manage Tree Anthracnose

Once the symptoms of anthracnose become severe, the tree’s disease is difficult to control during the current growing season.

Arborists recommend raking and disposing of fallen twigs and leaves promptly to stop the infection from spreading to nearby trees and plants. When winter arrives, prune to remove infected branches and increase canopy air circulation.

For trees that have been defoliated, protective fungicide application may be beneficial. Complete coverage for large trees typically requires high-pressure spraying equipment, and for safety, a local certified arborist to complete the job.

Tips to Prevent Tree Anthracnose

Preventing tree anthracnose isn’t always possible, but the following tips may help:

  • Avoid planting high-risk trees. Some deciduous hardwoods, including ash, elm, birch and oak trees, are more susceptible to the fungal pathogens that cause anthracnose.
  • Plant trees in well-drained soil that’s enriched to help resist tree disease.
  • Make sure sprinklers and irrigation systems are directed away from the canopies of your landscaping trees. Wet leaves promote anthracnose development.

If you suspect your trees may have anthracnose or another problem, contact the certified arborists at Reliable Tree Care in Salt Lake City. We have the expertise to offer effective solutions and strategies for managing tree diseases found throughout northern Utah.

To schedule a no-cost, no-obligation evaluation with the Reliable Tree Care team, or to learn more about anthracnose and our comprehensive tree disease control services, contact our Murray, Utah, office today.

Utah Tree-Planting Guide to Celebrate Arbor Day

For expert Utah tree-planting advice, you need look no further than the certified arborists at Reliable Tree Care. National Arbor Day falls on April 27 this year, which makes this month an ideal time to consider adding a few new trees to your Utah landscape.

Utah Tree Planting Guide to Celebrate Arbor Day

Planting Balled and Burlapped Trees

New landscaping trees often come with their roots wrapped in a burlapped ball. To plant a tree that’s balled and burlapped, follow these steps:

  • Dig a saucer-shaped hole that’s two or three times as wide and deep as the root ball, taking care not to disturb the soil at the bottom
  • Lift the tree by the root ball — not the trunk — and place it in the hole.
  • Use wire cutters to remove the basket, rope and twine, then cut away the excess burlap.
  • Vinyl or treated burlap must be removed completely, but regular burlap under the root ball will break down on its own over time.
  • Pack soil around the root ball, give it a good watering and apply mulch.

Planting Containerized Trees

Some new trees come in pots or containers. To plant containerized trees, follow these steps:

  • Dig a hole that’s three or four times the width and depth of the container, making sure the sides are sloped.
  • Carefully remove the tree from the container and check the roots. Trees that are root-bound need strategic cuts at the bottom and sides of the root ball.
  • Set the tree in the hole, firmly pack the soil, then water and add mulch.

Planting Bare-Root Trees

Be careful with bare-root landscaping trees, as their roots cannot be allowed to dry out. To plant trees with bare roots, follow these steps:

  • Unpack the tree, untangle the roots and soak them for three to six hours.
  • Dig a hole that’s wider than what the roots seem to need and remove any grass within 3 feet of the hole.
  • Plant the tree, partially filling the hole with soil and packing it around the lower roots.
  • Shovel in more soil and pack it down firmly, then water and spread mulch.

Tips for Tree-Planting Success

Whenever possible, plant native Utah trees. Species that aren’t normally found in the Intermountain West region often require extra water, fertilizer and specialized treatment in order to thrive.

To give your trees the best chance of success, consider these planting tips:

  • Think about location carefully. Don’t settle on a spot for tree planting without considering future growth.
  • Create the ideal soil conditions. Do a soil test before planting trees and add any necessary amendments to make for a more hospitable soil environment.
  • Have a plan for watering. Different species of trees have different water needs, so make a plan to meet those needs before tree planting. A drip system is the easiest and most effective way, but if you plan to water by hand, make sure to do it consistently.

For professional advice and assistance with tree planting, call on the certified local arborist team at Reliable Tree Care. Serving the greater Salt Lake City area for more than 20 years, we have the skill, knowledge and experience to optimize the health of your new landscaping trees.

Contact Reliable Tree Care in Murray today for a free comprehensive yard evaluation and Utah tree-planting consultation.

How to Choose a Utah Arborist for Your Tree Services

Hiring a skilled and experienced Utah arborist to perform tree services such as pruning, trimming, soil care and insect or disease control treatment is essential. Choose the right team for the job, and you can look forward to healthy, beautiful trees and expert advice regarding their ongoing care.

How to Choose a Utah Arborist for Your Tree Services

On the other hand, if you make the wrong decision, trees that took decades to grow can become irreparably damaged. So what’s the best way to identify a qualified Utah arborist to handle your tree services?

Check Utah Arborist Credentials

Arborist training can come from several sources. Some tree experts attend college or university to earn an arboriculture or horticulture degree, for example, while others learn from on-the-job training at a plant nursery, landscape company, forestry agency or tree care services company.

But the way an arborist is trained isn’t as important as their credentials. Before choosing someone to hire, check how long they’ve been in the tree-care business. And above all, make sure the arborist you hire is certified by a professional association, such as the International Society of Arboriculture.

Ask Utah Arborists for References and Photos

Every skilled local arborist should be happy to provide customer references as well as photos of their past work. If a tree care company is reluctant to share, take that as reason enough to pass up on their services.

However, you shouldn’t simply ask for references and pictures. Take the time to follow through and contact the provided references. Ask if the arborist completed the work as promised and in a timely fashion, without causing damage to the landscape or property. Also ask if they would recommend hiring the tree-care services company.

Get More than One Tree Services Estimate

You might get along quite well with the first local arborist you consult, but you shouldn’t make the decision to hire their tree care services company without getting another estimate or two.

Seeking out more than one opinion not only ensures your trees receive the proper attention and treatment, but it also helps you determine a reasonable price to pay for tree services. Request written estimates from each Utah arborist you’re considering, and make sure all the details are included in the proposal.

Hiring the Right Utah Arborist for Tree Services

Cost is always an important factor when it comes to hiring a local arborist, but price shouldn’t be your only consideration.

As you compare arborist estimates, look at the tree services that are included as well as the proposed treatment and care methods. The lowest bid may not offer the best value or the biggest benefit to your trees. Don’t hesitate to ask whether you may be subject to any extra or hidden costs.

If you would like to get a tree services estimate in the greater Salt Lake City area, make Reliable Tree Care your first call. With over two decades of experience and certification from the International Society of Arboriculture, our arborist team has the knowledge and skill to optimize the health and beauty of your trees and shrubs.

Reliable Tree Care offers free, no-pressure comprehensive yard evaluations and tree services estimates to northern Utah homeowners and businesses. Contact our Murray office today to schedule a complimentary property analysis from a highly trained and experienced Utah arborist.

Tree Services: Cabling & Bracing Can Save At-Risk Trees

Tree services such as cabling and bracing can provide support and help prevent failure of at-risk trees.

Tree Services: Cabling & Bracing Can Save At-Risk Trees

Sometimes, trees develop a poor structure and can no longer support their own weight. Installing flexible, high-strength, steel-strand cables and braces can improve the structural integrity and longevity of at-risk trees. Essentially, this practice involves transferring weight from weak branches to stronger limbs that can better withstand severe weather conditions.

At-risk trees can often be saved with proper cabling and bracing tree services from a certified arborist.

Mature Trees

If a mature tree limb has grown into a pronounced “U” shape, the weight of the canopy — along with the additional stresses of high winds, snow accumulation and wet foliage — can cause the branch to split or break. Cables and braces can redistribute the load to help the tree grow stronger.

Multi-Trunked Trees

A tree with multiple trunks is often doomed to fail, as the limbs grow away from the center and overextend the weight load. And if a trunk fails, the slow-healing nature of the wound leaves it susceptible to insects and disease. A certified arborist often uses bracing and cabling tree services to support the trunks and reduce the likelihood of failure.

Split Trees

Caught early enough, bracing and cabling can save a tree that has developed a vertical crack from suffering structural stress or storm-related damage. With proper placement, cables and braces — along with expert pruning tree services — can add years of life to a split tree.

Leaning Trees

A tree with a slight, natural lean is usually no cause for concern. However, if the lean becomes more pronounced — or if it develops suddenly after a heavy storm — cables and braces may be necessary to prevent failure.

Uprooted Trees

When severe storms uproot trees, they often need to be removed. However, in some cases, a certified arborist can reposition the trunk and use bracing and cabling to hold it in place to give the root system a chance to become reestablished.

Can Cabling and Bracing Tree Services Save All At-Risk Trees?

Unfortunately, not all at-risk trees can be saved with cables and braces. Trees with cracks that affect a large portion of the main trunk may need to be removed, as do those that have a lean greater than 15 degrees.

To find out if your trees could benefit from structural support, you’ll need to schedule a consultation with an experienced local tree services company. For free expert advice from a certified arborist in the greater Salt Lake City area, contact Reliable Tree Care.

With more than two decades of experience, the certified arborist team at Reliable Tree Care understands how to care for trees in northern Utah. To schedule a complimentary, comprehensive yard evaluation, or to discuss our cabling and bracing tree services, contact our Murray office today.

Tree and Shrub Fertilization Guide for Utah Homeowners

Tree and shrub fertilization provides plants with essential nutrients that may be missing from the soil. When properly applied, fertilizer promotes healthy, vigorous growth and poses no harm to people, pets or the environment.


Fertilization can be beneficial to both new and established trees and shrubs. However, many gardeners seem to think that the more they fertilize, the better their plants will grow, and that simply isn’t the case. Applying too much fertilizer can lead to decline or even plant death and potentially harm the environment.

Provide the right amount and type of fertilizer, however, and your shrubs and trees will remain beautiful, healthy and strong, year after year.

When Should You Fertilize Trees and Shrubs?

Proper timing is imperative for fertilizer application.

In most cases, fall-planted shrubs and trees should be fertilized in early spring when the ground is workable and it’s still early in the growing season. For spring plantings, you should wait about six to eight weeks to apply fertilizer.

However, fertilization timing isn’t set in stone. If a tree or shrub shows yellowing or has extremely slow growth, it may be time for an application.

How Do You Determine the Best Fertilizer for Trees and Shrubs?

Native Utah soils don’t have many of the nutrients necessary for robust shrub and tree growth.

Every species has unique needs, but a fertilizer high in nitrogen is often recommended for shrubs and trees. Increased nitrogen provides more of a growth-boosting effect than other nutrients. In addition, Utah homeowners may want to look for fertilizers that contain manganese and iron.

How Do You Fertilize Trees and Shrubs?

Many types of fertilizer are available today, but they are all come in one of three formulations — spikes, liquid or granules.

Spikes are the easiest to use. Simply insert them into the ground near the roots of your shrubs and trees and they will slowly and continuously release the fertilizer.

Liquid fertilizers are nutrient-rich fluids that are sprayed onto the ground. Granulated pellet or powder fertilizers are usually applied with a broadcast spreader. With either of these materials, start your fertilization application one foot away from the tree trunk or shrub base and extend coverage to the dripline.

Immediately after applying fertilizer, thoroughly water the plant to allow the nutrients to soak into the soil.

How Can You Get Expert Help for Tree and Shrub Fertilization?

If you want to ensure that your trees and shrubs are getting the correct amount and type of fertilizer to meet their needs, consult with a local tree services company or certified Utah arborist.

A plant expert can determine exactly which nutrients your plants need for strong, healthy growth. And armed with advanced fertilization techniques — including root injections and foliar treatment to the leaves — a professional can dramatically improve shrub and tree health while boosting resistance to disease and insect infestation.

If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area and are looking for a tree and shrub fertilization expert, call on Reliable Tree Care. With more than 20 years of experience, our certified arborist team has the expertise and skill to keep your trees and shrubs growing healthy, strong and beautiful.

Reliable Tree Care offers free comprehensive yard evaluations to northern Utah homeowners and businesses. To schedule your complimentary consultation, or for more information on our tree and shrub fertilization services, contact us today.

Tree Insect Control: Putting the Squeeze on Stink Bugs

Tree insect control services can help protect your landscape from the damaging effects of pest infestation.

Tree Insect Control:

Brown marmorated stink bugs are somewhat new to Utah, as they were first detected in Salt Lake City in 2012. Since then, stinkbugs have grown to become a serious nuisance. In fact, these pests have already caused severe damage to commercial crops in our region.

Stink bug management can be difficult, but an experienced tree insect control company can help you keep these destructive pests from undermining the health of your trees.

What Are Stink Bugs?

Brown marmorated stink bugs are shield-shaped flying insects that measure about a half-inch long. As their name suggests, these insects are mostly brown, but adults also have marbled gray and black areas. Eggs are light green or white and found in clusters on the undersides of leaves.

Stink bugs are known to feed on more than 106 plant types, including the buds, leaves and stems of many different trees, shrubs and woody plants. In northern Utah and along the Wasatch Front, the pests are most commonly found on ornamental varieties.

However, fruit trees and crops can also become infested — these insects have been detected in orchards and vegetable fields in the counties of Utah, Salt Lake, Box Elder, Davis and Weber.

How Do You Know if You Have Tree Insects?

A visual check of your trees can often reveal a stink bug infestation. Adult stink bugs release a pheromone that causes the pests to congregate, and large groups of these insects can be easy to spot.

However, adults tend to gather on taller trees and shrubs, so they may be harder to see from the ground. Consequently, you’ll have to look toward other cues to know if your landscape is infested. Inspect your trees for damaged or chewed leaves and stems, and if you have fruit trees, examine the produce for sunken, corky lesions and discolored spots.

How Do Tree Insect Control Services Manage Stink Bugs?

Sometimes insecticides aren’t effective against adult stink bugs, as these insects are strong fliers and highly tolerant of insecticide residue. However, some broad-spectrum insecticides can help eradicate the pests, particularly when applied soon after detection.

In addition to or instead of insecticide, small shrubs can be protected with floating row covers or fine-mesh netting. Wrapping tree trunks with adhesive bands can also be helpful in preventing a stink bug infestation. Placing hanging fruits in breathable bags can keep them from becoming a stinkbug’s lunch. Pheromone traps can also help with insect control, working to both detect and lure stink bugs away.

The insect control professionals at Reliable Tree Care, serving the greater Salt Lake City area for more than 20 years, have the expertise to recommend effective, environmentally conscious strategies for managing all types of destructive pests found throughout northern Utah.

To schedule a free, comprehensive yard evaluation with the Reliable Tree Care team, or to learn more about our tree insect control services, contact our Murray, Utah, office today.

Tree Trimming Practices: Why Topping Is NOT Recommended

Topping is an extreme form of tree trimming in which the top of the trunk and upper main branches are cut down to stubs of a uniform height. Also known as stubbing, heading or dehorning, topping is done to reduce the size of a tree.

Tree Topping

Although you may think of this practice as a harmless haircut for trees, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Topping causes severe damage and may even lead to the death of a tree.

Topping Reduces a Tree’s Ability to Produce Food

Trees need a large leaf surface area for adequate food production. Topping removes much of the leaf canopy, which greatly reduces the amount of food that can be produced. This depletes stored food reserves that are critical for survival.

Topping Leaves a Tree Vulnerable to Problems

Cutting away large branches creates wounds that are slow to heal. This leaves trees exceedingly vulnerable to disease, fungal decay and insect infestation. In addition, increased sun exposure to the open branches can result in sunscald and severe bark damage.

Topping Makes a Tree Hazardous

With topping, trees can become more of a yard hazard. The stubs are weak, so they’re more likely to suffer wind or storm breakage, which can cause damage to your property or injury to an innocent passerby.

Topping Destroys a Tree’s Natural Beauty

Trees can grow after topping, but many end up looking disfigured. Most of the buds that are necessary for a normal branch system have been removed, so the branches typically grow in a water spout pattern, with dense, upright, unattractive growth.

Alternate Tree Trimming Practices

Sometimes a tree’s size must be reduced. Maybe it’s growing too tall for utility line clearance or the shade is blocking rooftop solar panels. Whatever the reason, topping is not the right approach.

Instead of topping, certified Utah arborists turn to different tree trimming practices:

  • Crown reduction removes large branches at the top and/or sides, pruning them back to a lateral branch so the natural form is preserved
  • Crown cleaning removes weakly attached, low-vigor and unhealthy branches to resolve crowding at the top of a tree
  • Crown raising removes branches symmetrically to open up the view and maintain the health of a tree

Before topping any of the trees on your property, consult with a certified Utah arborist. For expert tree trimming advice in the greater Salt Lake City area, schedule a free, comprehensive yard evaluation with the professional arborists at Reliable Tree Care.

With more than 20 years of experience, the Reliable Tree Care team knows how to safely trim trees without compromising their health and future growth. Contact our Murray, Utah, office today to schedule a professional tree trimming consultation.

Tree Removal Costs in Northern Utah

You need to determine the cost of tree removal to budget properly for the project. We can give you an idea of what to expect in terms of the cost for removing trees in Utah.

Tree Removal Costs in Northern Utah

Factors that Affect Tree Removal Cost

Generally speaking, the cost of removing a tree is based on four main factors:

  • Height: Most companies charge a specific fee per foot. So the taller the tree, the higher the price.
  • Condition: Trees that are leaning, those that have multiple trunks and any that are significantly decayed or dead are often more dangerous — and therefore, more costly — to remove.
  • Diameter: Wider trees take longer to remove. And the longer a job takes, the higher the cost is.
  • Location: Trees that are close to buildings, power lines or other areas that are difficult to access are more complicated to remove, which adds to the cost.

Average Costs for Tree Removal

According to HomeAdvisor, an online information marketplace, the national average cost for tree removal is $651. However, the price can range anywhere from $75 to $1,500 or more, depending on several factors.

Small trees, or those under 30 feet tall, typically cost between $125 and $437 to remove.

For medium trees that are between 30 and 60 feet in height, removal can range from $175 to $900.

Trees that stand taller than 60 feet usually cost between $400 and $1,400 to remove. However, massive, older trees may require special equipment that can drive the cost higher.

Additional Tree Services

Other services are typically not included in the cost. If you want the stump removed, for example, you can expect to pay an additional fee. The same goes for log splitting, and in some cases, limb chipping and removal. In addition, if your property is in a remote location, you may be charged extra for travel.

Determining Your Tree Removal Cost

The only way to know how much it will cost to remove your tree is to schedule a consultation with a certified Utah arborist. A tree services professional can come out to your property, evaluate the situation and give you a quote.

If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area, the professionals at Reliable Tree Care will be happy to provide you with a free comprehensive yard evaluation to check the health of all your trees. And, if any need attention, we offer a full range of tree services.

As a northern Utah industry leader for over 20 years, Reliable Tree Care is known for high-quality work, exceptional customer service and affordable pricing. Contact our Murray office to schedule a free consultation and tree removal cost estimate today.

Our Certified Arborists Share 8 Tree-Care Tips for Spring

Every certified arborist knows that springtime is one of the most important seasons for tree care. Giving trees some attention in the spring helps keep them healthy and strong for the upcoming growing season.

tree-care tips for spring

Although it may not feel like it, spring is right around the corner. So we wanted to share some of our best pro tips with you for spring tree care in northern Utah.

No. 1: Check for Winter Tree Damage

Exposure to temperature fluctuations, drying winter winds and snow and ice storms can damage trees. A certified arborist can inspect trees for signs of winter injury and recommend an appropriate care and treatment regimen to minimize the effects of the damage.

No. 2: Inspect for Insects and Disease

Before leaves appear on your trees, an arborist can check the trunks and branches for disease or insect infestation. If a health hazard is identified, early treatment can prevent damage from spreading.

No. 3: Prune Dead and Damaged Branches

Winter is typically considered the best time to prune trees, as they’re dormant during the cold season. In the spring, however, an arborist can easily identify and prune away any remaining dead and damaged branches.

No. 4: Remove Trees with Critical Problems

Not even a certified arborist can save every unhealthy tree. Those that have critical problems — such as a hollow trunk, severe trunk damage or a significant lean — may need to be removed.

No. 5: Plant New Trees

Spring is a great time to plant new trees in northern Utah. A local certified arborist can evaluate your property’s soil, climate and sunlight conditions to determine which varieties are best-suited for your landscape.

No. 6: Fertilize as Needed

After the cold winter months, trees need vitamins and nutrients. Before the spring growing season arrives, an arborist can apply a slow-release fertilizer if necessary to improve resistance and encourage healthy growth.

No. 7: Apply Mulch

A layer of mulch helps retain soil moisture, suppress weeds and protect trees from fluctuating temperatures. A certified arborist knows which type of mulches are best for northern Utah and how to properly apply them for optimum health.

No. 8: Consider Lightning Protection

As a part of spring tree care, an arborist may recommend lightning protection for certain treasured or mature trees. Installing a conductor near the top and running cables down the trunk and along the major branches to a grounding system can greatly reduce chances of lightning damage.

If you want to safeguard the health of your landscape, we recommend calling in your local arborist for seasonal maintenance — especially if you aren’t familiar with how to complete some of these tasks without harming your trees.

The certified arborist team at Reliable Tree Care, serving the greater Salt Lake City area for over 20 years, has the skill, knowledge and experience to keep your trees healthy and strong all year long.

Reliable Tree Care provides affordable, seasonal tree maintenance to homeowners and businesses throughout northern Utah. To schedule a free, comprehensive yard evaluation to discuss spring tree care with a certified arborist, contact our Murray office today.

Tree Trimming Is Critical for Branches Overhanging Your Roof

We understand that tree trimming may fall toward the bottom of your to-do list, particularly when the weather isn’t too agreeable. We all love our trees, but trimming is one of those tasks that doesn’t seem terribly pressing.

tree trimming

However, in some cases, prompt trimming is a necessity. If you have any branches hanging over your roof, it’s important to address the problem immediately, as they may pose a hazard.

Risks of Overhanging Branches

Branches that hang over your home pose several threats, all of which can lead to costly damage.

  • On windy days, overhanging limbs can scrape against the rooftop, damaging the shingles. When the asphalt is stripped away, the roof can easily develop leaks.
  • Leaves from overhanging branches fall into the gutters. When gutters are clogged, the roofing materials deteriorate, leading to mold growth, ice dams and roof leaks.
  • Stormy weather can cause a branch to fall on your roof. Depending on the size of the limb and how it hits the rooftop, you could end up with anything from minor damage to a major problem.

Safe Tree Trimming for Overhanging Branches

Tree trimming can be dangerous work, especially with branches hanging over a roof. You could fall off the ladder or roof trying to get the job done yourself. And if you make the wrong cut, the tree limb could fall right onto your house (or you). You could, in effect, create the very problem you’re trying to solve.

Since rooftop tree trimming is so risky, you would be wise to let a tree services professional complete the task. Certified arborists have the training, skills and proper tools to safely trim your overhanging branches.

What if the Tree that Needs Trimming Isn’t Yours?

One of your neighbor’s trees could grow to hang over your property. If that happens, you shouldn’t just go ahead and trim the offending branch.

Instead, talk with your neighbor first. While you may have the right to trim branches that extend onto your property, it’s a good idea to discuss the matter before cutting someone else’s tree. You could be responsible for any harm that comes to the tree, which is another reason to hire a tree services professional for the trimming.

If you see that a branch has grown to hang over the rooftop of your northern Utah home, contact Reliable Tree Care to schedule tree trimming service. With over 20 years of experience serving customers throughout the Salt Lake City area, the Reliable Tree Care team has the skills and knowledge to safely trim trees without compromising their future growth and health. For professional tree trimming at an affordable price, contact our Murray office today to schedule a consultation.