Trees are a vital part of building your green space. They provide shade from the sun, homes for birds, and they clean the air. At Underhill’s Landscaping, we can provide expert tree care services in Toronto and the surrounding areas, ensuring your backyard space has all the green it needs to be a paradise on earth. We provide tree fertilization, pruning, and spraying services, and we can even provide tree removal services for trees that are in the way or causing problems.
Give us a call or send us an email today to book our tree and shrub care services.
Our urban landscape imposes additional stresses on trees and shrubs that are not concerns in the forest setting. Stress caused by compacted soils, air pollution, road salts, poor drainage, and competition with turf grasses can impair the health and ultimately the growth of the tree. Without realizing it, our stressed trees are becoming more and more susceptible to infestation by insects and disease, further compounding the restricted growth. With that in mind, one of the best ways we can help our landscape plants grow healthier and to make them more resistant to pest infestation is to ensure they receive a proper supply of nutrients.
Tree roots perform many functions. The primary roots grow down into the soil to provide the anchor to hold the tree upright. Secondary roots branch off and extend radially and horizontally and form the basis of the moisture and nutrient gathering system for the tree. Tertiary roots are the absorbing roots that eventually branch off into clusters of rootlets, or fine hair like feeder roots. It is these feeder roots, in conjunction with natural mycorrhizal fungi in the soil that break down the nutrients found in the soil and begin to transport them with the tree system.
While the primary and secondary roots can be found rather deep in the soil, the tertiary and feeder roots will be relatively close to the soil surface. These roots will grow horizontally to just beyond the outer drip line of the crown or foliage. This is where we must concentrate applying fertilizer for the trees to benefit the most.
Deep Root Fertilizer Injection
This is the most effective method to fertilize trees. This process injects a water and fertilizer mixture under high pressure 8 to 10 inches below the soil surface, right where the feeder roots are. The injections are placed in a grid pattern in and around the tree’s drip line. There are many advantages to fertilizing this way. The high-pressure injection forces the water-fertilizer mix throughout the root zone, which not only feeds all the roots but also reduces soil compaction and encourages additional root zone aeration. Depending upon your plant varieties, and their general state of health, this deep root injection fertilizer technique may be suggested at various times throughout the season, although, spring and fall are generally the best times of the season.
Even though your trees and shrubs may appear to look healthy today, call or email us for an analysis and our recommendations on a deep root fertilization program to help keep them healthy and strong for years to come.
Tree Pruning and Removal
Keeping your trees and shrubs healthy requires more than just good growing conditions and proper fertilization. An essential part of a plant maintenance program is pruning. Although trees and bushes in the natural forest do quite well without any maintenance, urban landscape trees and shrubs require a higher level of care to maintain their aesthetic appeal and safety.
Reasons for Pruning and Trimming
Proper pruning enhances the beauty of landscape trees and shrubs, while improper pruning can ruin or greatly reduce the plant’s landscape potential. Common reasons for pruning are to enhance the shape of the tree, to remove dead branches, to remove crowded or rubbing limbs. Trees may also be pruned to increase light and air penetration to the inside of the tree’s crown, or to the lawn or gardens below. Thinning the crown to allow air and light penetration can reduce susceptibility to various diseases and encourages overall healthier growth. Fruit trees benefit from regular pruning by producing a better fruit crop. Some flowering shrubs show their best colour displays when properly pruned at the right time of the year. Of course, pruning may be required to remove any potentially hazardous limbs that may be a threat to the safety of where we live, work or play.
When is the proper time to prune trees or shrubs? That is a common question we get all the time. And there is no one set answer. Different trees and shrubs should be pruned at different times of the year. For example, fruit trees are generally pruned during the dormant late winter or early spring periods if encouraging better fruit growth is the objective. Most deciduous landscape trees also benefit from a pruning at this time of the year, but also respond well when pruned at other times of the year. Tip pruning coniferous trees and shrubs for general shaping is generally done during the late spring and early summer when the new shoots are not yet mature. Flowering shrubs, if pruned before their normal bloom time, will not produce a colour show that year. The trick is to know each plant, its growth habit, and to schedule the pruning at the appropriate time for that plant. At Underhill’s, we will let you know what pruning schedule is best for your trees and shrubs.
There will be times when we will suggest that a tree needs to be taken down completely. Perhaps the health of the tree has been impaired so much that any measures to restore its health are futile. Perhaps the tree has been structurally weakened or damaged by severe weather conditions. Or perhaps it simply has outgrown the space in which it was planted long ago. Whatever the reason, taking a large tree down requires proper techniques and experience to be able to do it safely.
After your tree has been taken down, that big ole stump has to be dealt with. We can help. We will grind the stump, well below the surface, roots and all. Then we clean out all the chips and debris left from the stump. Finally, we either lay new topsoil and sod over the stump area, or install new garden soils, or any other landscape treatment you require.
Let’s face it – bugs can be a nuisance and they can also be damaging. We invest our efforts in creating and maintaining our lawn and landscapes, only to watch our valuable trees and shrubs being eaten away by various insect pests. In the past, we were able to offer various controls to keep those devastating insects in check. Today, our options are more limited, but we can still help to keep your trees and shrubs healthy with natural, non-pesticide treatments to reduce the damaging effect that various insects can cause.
Dormant Oil Spraying
Many insects hibernate and overwinter in and around the branches and roots of our trees and shrubs - only to emerge in the early spring to go about their business of eating our valuable plants. Dormant oil sprays can dramatically reduce the impact these insects can have by stopping them in their tracks BEFORE they get started for the season. Dormant oil sprays work by coating the outer body of the insect, effectively smothering their capability to ‘breathe’ – killing them before they have a chance to do damage. Susceptible insects include mites, various scales, adelgids, galls, loopers, and leafhoppers. Dormant oil is a natural, non-pesticide and safe to use in our typical backyards. Fruit trees, flowering crab trees, locusts, magnolias, maples, oaks, and many other trees can benefit from an application of dormant oil spray. Call us for an analysis to determine if dormant oil spray is appropriate for your trees.
Many Years of Good Service
This is a note to inform you that in January we shall be moving into a ‘condo’ and therefore will not need your expert services. Also, we want to say that we have been very pleased with all your help over the years and want to say ‘Thank You’! We shall leave your name and information with the new owners Thanks again for many years of good service.
- J. Berggren, Agincourt