Category Archives: Our Blog

How Can a Free Tree Services Consultation Help You?

Did you know that a tree services consultation with Reliable Tree Care is complimentary for northern Utah homeowners and business owners?

Free Tree Services Consultation

Whether you have a problem with one of your trees or it’s time for an annual tree checkup, our certified arborists can identify solutions to preserve the health and beauty of your landscape.

What can you expect from our no-cost, no-obligation tree services consultation?

Discussing Your Tree Care Needs and Goals

When we arrive at your home or business, we’ll discuss your immediate tree care needs with you first. At this point, you can tell us about any issues you’ve noticed, or any problems you may be having.

We’ll also chat about your future landscaping goals. Maybe you want to plant some new trees this year and you’d like suggestions on varieties and placement. Or perhaps you plan on finally getting rid of that old stump. If you let us know your goals, we can help you devise an effective, long-term plan for your tree services.

Inspecting Your Landscape

Next, we’ll take a walk together around your property. Along the way, we’ll look at the overall health of your landscape. We’ll also stop and take a close look at all your trees and shrubs, evaluating their health and placement as well as the quality of the soil they grow in.

We’ll point out signs of insect infestation or disease if there are any. And if we see that trimming, pruning or other tree care services are needed, we will make recommendations accordingly.

Planning for the Future

After the yard evaluation, we’ll sit down with you to talk about the results and how to keep your trees healthy in the upcoming seasons. We’ll share expert tips and professional advice, based on your specific tree care needs.

If we find that insect control or disease control services are necessary, we’ll explain your treatment options. We’ll also help you prioritize, identifying which concerns need to be addressed first and which can wait until later. Follow our expert care recommendations, and your dreams of a landscape filled with healthy trees can become a reality.

Do you have questions, or are you ready to schedule your free tree services consultation? With over two decades of experience serving customers throughout the greater Salt Lake City area, our certified arborists understand how to keep your trees healthy, strong and beautiful.

Reliable Tree Care is happy to offer you our complimentary consultation and yard evaluation. To learn more, or to schedule your free tree services consultation, contact our Murray office today.

Ask an Arborist: What Happens if Fruit Trees Bud in the Winter?

Do you need to seek help from a certified arborist if your fruit trees bud in the winter? Early blooming can be stressful, leading to issues with fruit production.

Fruit Trees Bud in Winter

Fruit trees need protection and expert care in the winter months, particularly if they begin budding before spring has arrived. But why do fruit trees bloom early and how do arborists recommend dealing with the problem?

Why Fruit Trees Bud in the Winter

Trees rely on weather cues to keep their growth cycles on track, and Mother Nature often sends mixed signals here in northern Utah. The calendar might say it’s winter, but the weather sometimes feels more like spring.

When the temperature is unseasonably warm, trees start growing as if spring has already arrived. Even a single day of freakishly warm weather can cause early budding.

Why Early Budding Is a Problem for Fruit Trees

For best fruiting, any arborist will tell you that trees need the winter dormant season for rest. Early budding cuts the dormant period short, which can delay fruit growth in the spring and affect the quality of the crop.

Fruit buds are extremely vulnerable to freezing temperatures. When buds are hit with a cold snap after blooming has begun, the new growth may be shocked and suffer damage. And without attention from a certified arborist, the trees may not be able to bloom again later in the year.

Arborists’ Advice for Fruit Trees that Bud in the Winter

With proper care, fruit trees can often survive the stresses of winter budding. An arborist may recommend specific measures to encourage early bloomers to return to their typical growth cycles, however.

You can also take steps to help prevent early fruit tree budding. If the ground isn’t frozen, an arborist may advise that you try mulching around the trees. Mulch provides insulation, which may help protect against fruit crop losses.

In addition, keep an eye on the weather forecast. If temperatures seem unseasonably warm, an arborist may suggest watering your trees. Wetting the trees will keep them cool, tricking them into sticking with their regular winter growth patterns and saving your fruit production.

For more information on fruit tree care in northern Utah, consult with the certified arborist team at Reliable Tree Care. Our highly qualified professionals can offer expert advice and tips to keep your trees healthy all year long.

Reliable Tree Care provides a full range of affordable tree services to homeowners and businesses throughout the greater Salt Lake City area. To schedule a free, comprehensive arborist evaluation of your fruit trees, contact our Murray, Utah, office today.

Tree Services During the Winter? It’s the Perfect Time!

Tree services probably aren’t at the top of your winter to-do list — but perhaps they should be.

With the harsh winter weather here in northern Utah, outdoor projects often take a back burner. That’s certainly understandable, and many home and landscaping tasks can easily wait until spring arrives.

Tree Services During the Winter

Nevertheless, winter can be an ideal time to schedule professional tree services.

Without Leaves, Tree Services Are Easier

Pruning and trimming are essential for healthy trees — and these tasks are much easier to accomplish at this time of year.

Once your trees lose their leaves in the fall, the bare branches allow an arborist or tree-care professional to clearly see the tree’s entire structure. Each limb can be examined for potential damage, disease or infestation. Pruning and trimming cuts can then be precisely planned to preserve future tree health.

Trees Recover from Stress More Quickly in Winter

After shedding their leaves, trees go into a state of dormancy, shifting their energy to the root systems. As a result, they recover more quickly from the stresses of tree services.

Dormant trees are less likely to bleed sap when limbs are removed, and the cold northern Utah air can help the wound heal without a problem. Plus, since many of the insects and birds that damage vulnerable trees aren’t around in the winter, trees have a much greater chance of recovering completely from trimming and pruning cuts.

The Ground Is Firmer in the Winter

Tree care professionals often need to use heavy equipment to safely reach and remove branches that are high above the ground. Though it might sound counterintuitive, using this equipment can actually be easier in the winter.

When the ground is frozen, trucks, lifts, chippers and other tree-care equipment won’t sink into the earth and disrupt the landscaping. And as the grass is lying dormant now (and may be under a blanket of snow), the lawn is less susceptible to damage from the heavy equipment.

Professional Tree Services & Arborists Are Less Busy in Winter

The winter months might be hectic for you, but this is the slow season for tree care professionals, as most northern Utah homeowners don’t think about outdoor landscaping projects until the spring.

So at this time of year, tree care companies are usually more flexible when it comes to scheduling services. You’ll probably be able to get an appointment much sooner than you would if you wait until warmer weather arrives.

Make time for tree services this winter, and you’ll be rewarded with beautiful, healthy trees next spring. For expert care at an affordable price, homeowners in the greater Salt Lake City area turn to Reliable Tree Care.

With over two decades of experience, the professionals at Reliable Tree Care understand how to keep trees growing strong. To schedule a free comprehensive yard evaluation or to learn more about our tree services, contact our Murray office today.

Winter Fruit Tree Care: Protecting Trees from Animal Damage

During the winter, proper fruit tree care is critical. Animals view fruit trees as food during the cold weather months, and if you don’t want to end up replacing any of your trees in the spring, you’ll need to find ways to keep the critters away.

Winter Fruit Tree Care

Many northern Utah homeowners are concerned about deer — and rightly so. However, mice, voles, squirrels and other rodents can be just as harmful to your fruit trees. To help guard against animal damage, try our expert winter fruit tree care tips.

How to Keep Rodents Away from Utah Fruit Trees

Rodents love to nibble at fruit tree bark. Wrapping the trunks of your trees can help protect them from becoming lunch for the critters in your yard.

Many types of specially designed tree wraps are available at your local garden center or home improvement store. Or if you already have some wire mesh or old metal window screening on hand, this can provide protection against rodents.

Regardless of which type of tree wrap you choose, make sure to place it so that the material extends to the ground — or better yet, bury the edge about an inch. Doing so will prevent hungry rodents from getting under the barrier.

How to Keep Deer Away from Fruit Trees

Bar soap, human hair and other well-known deer-repellants aren’t all that effective. Neither are spray deterrents. So what do tree experts recommend homeowners do to keep deer from eating their trees?

Really, the only reliable way to guard against deer is to install a physical barrier. Property fencing that’s at least 8 feet tall can stop deer from getting near your trees. If that’s too costly, consider encircling the trees with chicken wire or adding solar-powered motion sensors.

How to Protect Utah Fruit Trees from Other Winter Damage

Animals aren’t the only potential cause of winter damage to fruit trees. Severe weather conditions, extremely low temperatures, frost heaving and sun scald can also be detrimental to fruit tree health.

Wrapping and mulching can help protect trees from winter-related damage. In addition, proper tree trimming and tree pruning throughout the year can reduce the effects of Jack Frost. A reputable, expert tree services company can let you know when to handle these tasks.

The professional arborists of Reliable Tree Care, serving the greater Salt Lake City area for more than 20 years, have extensive experience with fruit tree care. Our highly qualified technicians can help keep your fruit trees at their best all year long, nurturing them into producing great results at harvest time.

To schedule a free, no-pressure yard evaluation with the Reliable Tree Care team, or for more tips on winter fruit tree care, contact our Murray office today.

Leave Holiday Lighting to the Pros this Year

Driving around and looking at holiday lighting displays in your neighborhood can be a fun family tradition. But making your own home merry and bright? Not so much.

Holiday Lighting to the pros

You’re busy enough this time of year — why not give yourself a break and hire a professional lighting service to showcase your holiday cheer?

We can give you five good reasons to let the pros handle your outdoor lighting display.

1. Stay Safe on the Ground

Ladders and rooftops can be dangerous, particularly in the wintertime. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 41 percent of holiday decorating injuries are falls — and about half of these are from ladders.

Thousands of people will be injured working on outdoor holiday lights this year. Leave the climbing to a professional lighting service, and you won’t be in that number — you’ll be safe on the ground.

2. Avoid Holiday Lighting Hassles

Putting up outdoor holiday lights is a time-consuming — and often aggravating — project. You have to untangle the light strands and check for frayed cords and broken bulbs. And of course, you have to figure out exactly where and how to hang the lights, while at the same time hiding the cords.

If you let the pros handle your holiday lighting, these headaches disappear. You won’t have to even lift a finger.

3. Get a Custom Holiday Lighting Display

Everyone wants a festive outdoor holiday display that enhances their property and their home’s architecture. Unfortunately, achieving this goal isn’t always easy.

With a professional service, your holiday lights will be customized to perfectly highlight your home and property’s best features. The pros are trained in lighting design, so you’re certain to have one of the most spectacular homes on the block.

4. Enjoy Holiday Lighting Service All Season

Who hasn’t put up holiday lights, only to have a bulb — or worse, an entire strand — stop working after a day or two? Dealing with that is a headache no one needs. And even if you manage to get through the season without a bad bulb or strand, you still have to take the lighting down at some point.

Hire a professional lighting service, and you won’t have to worry about either of these hassles. During the season, the pros will come out to check your holiday lighting display on a regular basis. And when you’re ready, they’ll take everything down for storage.

5. Keep Your Trees Healthy

Did you know that not all shrubs and trees are suited for holiday lighting? Some varieties aren’t sturdy enough, and hanging lights on them could lead to damage.

A professional tree lighting and tree services company knows how to light your trees and shrubs safely — and, as an added bonus, they’ll let you know about any pre-existing damage, infestation or rot.

The professional team at Reliable Tree Care makes outdoor home and tree lighting merry and bright for northern Utah homeowners. Our dedicated and experienced installers can bring your holiday spirit to life — and our season-long service is surprisingly affordable.

If you want a gorgeous, memorable outdoor display without headaches and hassles, let Reliable Tree Care take on the task. For more information about our professional holiday lighting services or to schedule a consultation, contact our Murray office today.

Tree Services — When to Hire a Professional

Can you handle your own tree services? Or should you hire a tree care professional to take care of your trees?

With proper upkeep, trees can enhance your landscape and add value to your property. Though some jobs are best left to a certified arborist, not every tree care task requires expertise. Most homeowners can easily manage the three DIY tree services below.


No. 1: Weeding Trees

Weeds can impede how your trees grow and develop, as they strip much-needed moisture and nutrients from the soil.

Weeding trees is a simple job — just look for unwanted plants near the trunk and pull or dig them up. A post-emergent herbicide can also work to kill the weeds, but you may want to ask a professional before using one. Some products could harm your trees, particularly if they aren’t applied correctly.

No. 2: Mulching Trees

Mulch protects trees from temperature fluctuations, reduces moisture loss and helps prevent weeds from growing.

Mulching trees isn’t difficult, but it needs to be done properly. You’ll need to apply a layer about 2 to 4 inches thick around the base of each tree, extending out to the drip line and avoiding the trunk and root flare. Organic mulch is preferred; for specific recommendations, speak with a certified arborist.

No. 3: Basic Pruning

Pruning promotes strong growth, as removing loose, dead and diseased branches helps safeguard the future health of your trees.

Unfortunately, pruning is not always a good idea for DIY tree services. You can cut small, low-hanging branches that are obvious problems. However, removing limbs that are large, heavy or high up is too dangerous to do on your own. And because it can be difficult to determine which branches need to be removed, you may want to hire a certified arborist for seasonal pruning.

When Should You Hire a Tree Care Professional?

DIY tree services can help your trees, but sometimes they need more than just basic weeding, mulching and pruning.

If any of your trees show signs of foliage, bark or structural changes — such as leaf damage, discolored bark or dead branches — you may want to hire a tree care professional.

In addition, if maintenance becomes too difficult or you have concerns about completing a task properly, contact a certified arborist. Hiring a professional is also smart for tree services like seasonal pruning, soil care, tree removal and insect control — jobs in which expertise is a must.

A certified arborist is trained and equipped to provide proper care and maintenance, keeping your trees at their best all year long. You may prefer to save money with DIY tree services, but getting a helping hand from a professional now and then can be a wise decision.

The Reliable Tree Care team provides expert service at an affordable price to homeowners throughout northern Utah. To schedule a free comprehensive yard evaluation, or to talk to a tree care professional about our tree services, contact our Murray office today.

Utah Arborist Advice for Mulching Trees

Ask any certified Utah arborist — mulching is an essential tree care service.

Mulching trees boosts the visual appeal of your property. But more importantly, mulch protects trees from hot and cold temperatures, reduces moisture loss in soil and helps keep weeds in check.

Utah Arborist Advice for Mulching Trees

However, to provide these benefits and avoid potential problems, mulch must be applied correctly. Following tips from our certified arborists will help you get the job done right.

Prepare the Base of the Tree

When mulching trees, aim to surround them with a circle measuring up to 8 feet in diameter. You don’t always need to cover that large of an area, but certified arborists recommend that you extend the mulch at least out to the edge of the drip line, or the edge of the tree canopy.

Prepare your circle by removing the grass, along with any debris, sticks and weeds in the area. Rake the ground to make it as even as possible before mulching.

Add the Right Amount of Mulch

Next, use your rake to spread the mulch around evenly within your prepared circle.

How much mulch do our certified arborists recommend?

A 2-to-4-inch layer is usually best for mulching Utah trees. Any more than that, and you could block oxygen from getting to the tree roots or cause excess moisture to build up in the root zone — either of which can stress the trees and threaten their future health.

Keep Mulch Away from the Tree Trunk

When mulching trees, creating hills or volcanoes of mulch is an arborist no-no.

Don’t pile mulch up against a tree trunk, or you may end up with root rot. Instead, after applying an even layer, an arborist uses a rake to pull the mulch away from the trunk and root flare in a donut shape.

What Makes for a Good Tree Mulch?

Which type of mulch do our certified Utah arborists recommend? Organic mulches are generally considered best, as the material slowly decomposes and releases nutrients into the soil.

However, our arborists take other factors into consideration when choosing a mulch. Texture is one — a medium-textured material is preferred, as fine and course mulches don’t retain the right amount of soil moisture. Price and availability are also important to an arborist.

And for mulching trees, aesthetics matters. A beautiful mulch can boost the look of your landscape.

Would you like some expert help protecting the trees surrounding your home? The certified arborist team at Reliable Tree Care provides mulching, pruning, trimming and other professional tree care services to keep Utah trees growing healthy and strong.

To schedule a free comprehensive yard evaluation with a Reliable Tree Care certified arborist, or for answers to your questions about mulching trees, contact our Murray office today.

Tree Insect Control: Cracking Down on Cankerworms

Using a tree insect control service is the best way to keep your trees strong, healthy and beautiful.

Here in northern Utah, cankerworms are a particularly pervasive type of pests, as the insects can lay waste to tree leaves. A severe infestation can even lead to complete defoliation, leaving trees stressed and more susceptible to disease or other tree insect attacks. Without treatment, infested trees have a significantly increased risk of death.

Tree Insect Control Cracking Down on Cankerworms

But cankerworms won’t have any hope of damaging your trees if you have a professional insect control service on your side.

What Are Cankerworms?

Also known as inchworms, cankerworms can appear in both the fall and spring seasons.

Fall cankerworm moths emerge and lay eggs on bark and twigs in the fall after the first hard freeze. For northern Utah, that’s typically sometime in November. The eggs remain throughout the winter and hatch in the spring. Newly hatched cankerworms reach their full-grown length of about one inch in roughly four weeks, then drop to the ground to pupate in the soil.

Spring cankerworm moths come out during warm periods late in the winter, usually by the middle of March in northern Utah. The eggs of spring cankerworm moths hatch at about the same time in the spring as eggs laid by fall cankerworms.

How Do You Know if Your Trees Are Infested?

Checking your trees regularly for infestations is an essential part of tree insect control.

To determine if you have a fall cankerworm problem, examine your trees in the late winter, looking at the twigs and bark for egg clusters.

In the spring, you can try shaking tree branches over a solid-color cloth sheet. If you notice dislodged larvae on the surface, you may need help with tree insect management. Keep in mind that springtime detection of cankerworms can be difficult because the eggs are not as easily visible.

How Does a Tree Insect Control Service Manage Cankerworms?

For optimal insect control, cankerworms need to be treated within 10 days of their eggs hatching. And because all the limbs of affected trees need attention, specialty tree service equipment is often required.

In managing these invasive pests, a tree insect service may use a number of different treatments, including horticultural oils, insecticides and sticky trunk barriers. No single approach is right for every cankerworm infestation, so expertise is a must for successful insect treatment.

The professional insect control team at Reliable Tree Care has been serving the greater Salt Lake City area for over 20 years. We have the knowledge and experience to recommend effective, environmentally friendly strategies for managing all types of pest infestations.

To schedule a complimentary, no-obligation yard evaluation with the experts at Reliable Tree Care, or for answers to your questions about tree insect control for cankerworms and other destructive insects, contact our Murray office today.

Tree Insect Control: All About Bark Beetles

Tree insect control treatments can keep destructive pests from wreaking havoc on your trees and shrubs.

Bark beetles are among the most damaging insects in northern Utah. These pests are a significant cause of tree death, and the problem grows progressively worse each year. If you have any stressed or weakened trees, they could be at risk for infestation.


Fortunately, with the help of an expert tree insect control service, bark beetles won’t stand a chance.

What Are Bark Beetles?

Bark beetles are tiny, cylindrical insects that bore into and feed on a tree’s inner bark. One of these pests on its own can’t do much damage, but these bugs don’t stay alone for long. As they feed, they release chemicals that attract other beetles.

Several species of these pests — including the banded elm bark beetle, spruce beetle, fir engraver and shot-hole borer — are common in northern Utah. Most species are black, brown or dark red, and their larvae is typically off-white and grublike in appearance. However, since these insects are only about the size of a grain of rice, identifying them can be challenging.

How Do You Know if Your Trees Are Infested?

You may not be able to easily see these destructive pests, but signs of a potential infestation can be noticeable.

A fading tree crown may indicate a bark beetle problem. In most cases of infestation, the crown dies out from the top down, gradually reaching the lower portions of the tree.

Beetle exit holes are another sign of an infestation problem. Often, as the beetles exit a tree, they leave a shotgun-like pattern of holes behind.

How Does a Tree Insect Control Service Manage Bark Beetles?

Prevention is key to keeping these calamitous critters in check. Once trees are under assault, treatment becomes much more difficult.

An insect control service has several tricks to hold off bark beetle infestation. Areas of densely packed tree growth can be thinned to keep trees healthy enough to withstand an attack, for example. Susceptible trees can also be protected with a preventive insecticide treatment.

Experts in Utah tree insect infestation prevention can recommend the best approach to managing all types of destructive pests. The professionals at Reliable Tree Care, serving the greater Salt Lake City area for over 20 years, have the skills and experience to manage insects with minimal environmental impact.

For a free comprehensive yard evaluation with the Reliable Tree Care team, or to learn more about our tree insect control services for managing bark beetles and other intrusive insects, contact our Murray office today.

Tree Removal Is Sometimes Necessary

Tree removal should always be a last resort. Homeowners and certified arborists want to save trees whenever possible.

However, if trees develop significant problems, removal may be the only solution. When deciding whether to have one of your trees removed, ask the questions listed below.

Tree Removal Is Sometimes Necessary

How Healthy Is the Tree?

As a rule of thumb, certified arborists generally recommend removal when 50 percent or more of a tree has significant damage.

Trees that aren’t very healthy can survive, sometimes for many years. But their growth will be limited and may look abnormal. So if any of your trees aren’t in good shape, tree removal may be the best course of action.

Does the Tree Have Large, Dead Branches?

Large, damaged limbs can be dangerous, as dead branches can come crashing down and cause bodily injury or damage your property.

A few damaged branches don’t necessarily warrant tree removal, however. Getting rid of the dead limbs may restore the plant’s health and stability. However, if more than 25 percent of the branches are deteriorated or the damage is limited to one side, certified arborists often opt for removal.

Is the Trunk Damaged?

When the main trunk is severely damaged, removal is usually a must.

Large wounds, dead branch stubs and vertical cracks are signs of internal decay. If the damage amounts to more than 25 percent of the trunk circumference, removal is generally advised, as it is unlikely to heal properly over time.

Is the Tree Hollow?

Trees can live with hollow trunks for many years, but in many cases, certified arborists favor removal.

A hollow area can compromise the strength and integrity of a trunk, making the affected specimen dangerous. More often than not, when at least one-third of a trunk is hollowed out or rotten, certified arborists will recommend tree removal.

Is the Tree Leaning?

Trees that lean can be a hazard, as they may have weakened or broken roots. That means at any point, leaning trees could fall and injure someone or damage your property.

A very small, gradual lean may not point to the need for removal. But certified arborists say that any specimen that is more than 15 degrees away from being vertical typically needs to be removed.

If you suspect one of your trees needs to be removed, reach out to Reliable Tree Care. Our certified arborists can help you decide if removal is necessary. If so, our professional team has the skills and equipment to safely and efficiently handle the job. To schedule a free comprehensive yard evaluation or to learn more about our tree removal service, contact our Murray, Utah, office today.