Tag - Tree Service Company

Tree Watering Practices

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Tree Watering Practices

How to Water Your New Trees

There are many exceptions to the following guidelines. Species-specific research is encouraged for customers interested in the proper maintenance of their trees.

Trees prefer a larger volume of water, provided a little less frequently, relative to smaller plants. The key to establishment is to keep the soil around the root system moist. The root system is generally 12 to 18 inches deep on most trees. A slower deeper watering is more effective at reaching 12 to 18 inches deep.

Over watering can push all of the oxygen out of the soil and actually choke a plant to death faster than underwatering will kill the plant of dehydration. Be sure water is draining from your plant so it isn’t sitting in a puddle of water for an extended period of time after watering. Poorly draining soils will require much less water than outlined below. Touching the ground and feeling the soil moisture at the base of your tree is always the best way to determine watering needs.

Avoid letting water splash on the leaves of your tree, if possible. The best time of day to water is between 4-8 a.m. After the initial establishment, trees should be watered once or twice a month for the first 1-2 years, even during the winter, if/when weather permits, and especially during summer.

We don’t recommend relying on a lawn irrigation system to adequately water your trees. While the in-ground sprinklers will reduce water needs, trees will still need supplemental watering from a hose.

Weeks Since Planted             Frequency/Durationusing a Hose

1-2                                              Once daily @ 20-30 seconds/tree

3-6                                              3x/Week @ 20-30 seconds/tree

7-8                                              1x/Week @ 30-60 seconds/tree*

Increase frequencies of watering to daily to compensate for additional water loss from temperatures above 85*F. Decrease frequencies of watering to compensate for lack of water loss during temperatures below 45*F.


Adding a tree into your Landscape

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3 Considerations When Adding a Tree to Your Landscape

1.)How Trees Are Measured and Sold

Trees are typically measured for sale using 3 different methods: “Pot/Container size” (in gallons), “Height” (in feet; or in inches for small trees), and “Caliber” (in inches). Caliber is the diameter of the tree trunk, measured at about 6 inches off the ground. Sometimes trees are also measured using the Diameter at Breast Height (also known as “DBH”), but typically DBH is used for tree analysis purposes.

Trees are often sold in ball and burlap form or “B&B”. B&B trees can be measured using height or caliper. Trees are also sold in containers or pots which can be “container-grown” or “containerized.” Usually trees in containers are measured by the number of gallons their potholds. However, it is also perfectly normal for tree farms or nurseries to measure their trees in containers using caliper or height.

The industry standard for most trees would be 6 feet tall, 1-1.5” caliber, or a 15-gallon container. Rarely is anything easy to compare when dealing with plants. Actual sizes, heights, and caliberscan significantly vary based on species, grower, supply/demand, recent weather events, and many more factors.

2.)The Best Time to Plant Trees in Missouri

The best time to plant trees in Missouri is usually October through March. That said, most trees in our area can be planted all year long. Summer planting can create more difficulty establishing the roots of the tree, but proper watering is all it takes to keep trees alive.

3.)Placement & Space Requirements

Some trees grow different heights and widths based on the region in which they are located. It is important to know the mature size of your trees. Certain trees should not be planted nearoverhead power lines, concrete driveways/sidewalks, or the house’s foundation. On the other hand, some trees are small enough to grow under power lines, near concrete, and next to a house.

Locating trees in a spot with adequate space relative to their growth habit is essential to long-term health and wellness. Too much competition can prevent a tree from acquiring appropriate amounts of nutrients, water, and oxygen due to restricted areas for root growth and nutrientuptake. This lack of space leads to extra stress on the plant. Plant stressors can facilitate insect infestation and disease development. Adequate space and airflow make a significant difference in the quality of life for a tree.

Putting plants too close together also limits airflow. The lack of air movement prevents foliage and roots from drying out, which increases the plants susceptibility to fungal diseases

Crape Myrtle - Tree Service Company Springfield MO

Four Colorful Trees To Grow Curb Appeal – Tree Service Company Springfield MO

If you want to add some color to your lawn and increase the curb appeal of your home, you have more options than just flowers and shrubs. Colorful trees can turn your lawn from dull to vibrant all year around. There are numerous options to choose from, but we’ve listed some of our favorites to help you get you started.
Crape Myrtle - Tree Service Company Springfield MO

Crape Myrtle

The Crape Myrtle average height is between 15 to 25 ft and the average spread is between 6 to 15 ft.

We like like these trees because they’re survivors that laugh in the face of drought and deer. They love hot, sunny climates and bloom in summer when most trees have ended their show. However, crape myrtles don’t love to be topped off. Be sure to give them plenty of room to grow and ask your tree service company to use a lighter pruning touch.
Sugar Maple - Tree Service Company Springfield MO

Sugar Maple

The Sugar Maple average height is between 60 and 75 ft and the average spread is 40 to 50 ft.

We like the Sugar Maple because it’s not picky about soil and doesn’t mind wide ranges of temperature. The hardy sugar maple can be a good replacement tree for an ash or elm tree taken by disease. And added bonus is the eye-popping fall foliage, and you can even tap the sap and make your own syrup. Just don’t plant them too close to roads, because any salt from ice melters will harm the tree.

Smoke Tree

The Smoke Tree average height is between 10 and 15 ft and the average spread is 12 ft.

We recommend the smoke tree because it plays well with others in groupings, hedges, or windbreaks. Smoke trees like hot, dry weather and thrive in a wide range of soils. They have fascinating textures and add a punch of color in small spaces. In summer, they sport wispy, pink bloom clusters. In fall, their foliage turns yellow, orange, and red. The rest of the year their leaves are purple, gold, or green.

Saucer Magnolia

The Saucer Magnolia average height is between 20 to 30 ft and the average spread is 25 ft.

This harbinger of spring is a very tolerant tree, not bothered much by dry, wet, and polluted environments. It does well in our clay soil here in Missouri, but would prefer rich, well-draining loams. Its fragrant white and purple flowers usually show up in March, putting on a spectacular, albeit short, show.

If you’d like us to plant these or any other colorful trees to improve the curb appeal of your home, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. We would be happy to help you explore your other options when it comes to colorful trees for your landscaping.

Leave Pruning To The Experts - Shrub Care Service Springfield MO

Leave Pruning To The Experts – Shrub Care Service Springfield MO

Proper pruning enhances the beauty of almost any landscape tree and shrub, while improper pruning can ruin or greatly reduce its landscape potential. In most cases, it is better not to prune than to do it incorrectly. In nature, plants go years with little or no pruning, but man can ruin what nature has created. By using improper pruning methods healthy plants are often weakened or deformed. In nature, every plant eventually is pruned in some manner.

It may be a simple matter of low branches being shaded by higher ones resulting in the formation of a collar around the base of the branch restricting the flow of moisture and nutrients. Eventually the leaves wither and die and the branch then drops off in a high wind or storm. Often, tender new branches of small plants are broken off by wild animals in their quest for food. In the long run, a plant growing naturally assumes the shape that allows it to make the best use of light in a given location and climate. All one needs to do to appreciate a plant’s ability to adapt itself to a location is to walk into a wilderness and see the beauty of natural growing plants.

Pruning, like any other skill, requires knowing what you are doing to achieve success. The old idea that anyone with a chain saw or a pruning saw can be a landscape pruner is far from the truth. More trees are killed or ruined each year from improper pruning than by pests. Remember that pruning is the removal or reduction of certain plant parts that are not required, that are no longer effective, or that are of no use to the plant. It is done to supply additional energy for the development of flowers, fruits, and limbs that remain on the plant.

Pruning involves removing plant parts to improve the health, landscape effect, or value of the plant. It’s best to leave the pruning to the shrub care service experts at Gabris Landscaping.

By making the pruning cuts in a certain order, the total number of cuts is reduced greatly. Our skilled pruners first remove all dead, broken, diseased or problem limbs by cutting them at the point of origin or back to a strong lateral branch or shoot. Often, removing this material opens the canopy sufficiently so that no further pruning is necessary.

The next step in pruning is to make any training cuts needed. By cutting back lateral branches, the tree or shrub is trained to develop a desired shape, to fill in an open area caused by storm or wind damage or to keep it in bounds to fit a given area. To properly train a plant, one should understand its natural growth habit. We always strive to avoid destroying the natural shape or growth habit when pruning.

Pruning can actually be done at any time of the year. However, recommended times vary with different plants. Contrary to popular belief, pruning at the wrong time of the year does not kill plants, but continual improper pruning results in damaged or weakened plants. In general, the best time to prune most plants is during late winter or early spring before growth begins.

The least desirable time is immediately after new growth develops in the spring. A great amount of food stored in roots and stems is used in developing new growth. This food should be replaced by new foliage before it is removed; if not, considerable dwarfing of the plant may occur. This is a common problem encountered in pruning.

It also is advisable to limit the amount of pruning done late in summer as new growth may be encouraged on some plants. This growth may not have sufficient time to harden off before cold weather arrives resulting in cold damage or winter kill. It’s best to have us prune plants that have been damaged by storms or vandalism or ones with dead limbs as soon as possible to avoid additional insect and disease problems that may develop.

All too often trees are topped (“dehorned”) to reduce size or to rejuvenate growth. In either case topping is not a recommended practice. Topping is the process whereby a tree is cut back to a few large branches. After 2 to 3 months, regrowth on a topped tree is vigorous, bushy and upright. Topping seriously affects the tree’s structure and appearance. The weakly attached regrowth can break off during severe wind or rain storms. Topping may also shorten the life of a tree by making it susceptible to attack by insect and disease.

Thinning is a better means of reducing the size of a tree or rejuvenating growth. In contrast to topping, thinning removes unwanted branches by cutting them back to their point of origin. Thinning conforms to the tree’s natural branching habit and results in a more open tree, emphasizing the branches’ internal structure. Thinning also strengthens the tree by forcing diameter growth of the remaining branches.

If you have any questions about having your trees, plants or bushes trimmed by the experts at Gabris Landscaping, give us a call to schedule an appointment to have us come by and offer our recommendations and provide you with a written estimate for our services.


KY3 Feature – What to Ask Before You Hire a Lawn or Landscaping Service Springfield MO

Here’s the feature KY3 did that features Gabris Landscaping. Learn what questions to ask before you hire a lawn and landscape service so you don’t get duped.

Additional Tree Disease Resources (2015) - Tree Service Company Springfield MO

Additional Tree Disease Resources (2015) – Tree Service Company Springfield MO

(Information was obtained through a workshop put on by Simeon Wright, Forest Pathologist at the Missouri Department of Conservation in January 2015.)

For Plant Problem Diagnosis through the University of Missouri Plant Diagnostic Clinic check out: http://plantclinic.missouri.edu/

Want to get updates and alerts about forest health issues in Missouri? http://mdc.mo.gov/user_mailman_register

Looking for current forest health news items? http://mdc.mo.gov/node/12746

Just love trees? Want to spread the word? Check out Trees Work: www.TreesWork.org

Specific Disease Information

Oak Decline –> http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Forestry/extension/pub/pdf/for99.pdf

Oak Decline –> http://mdc.mo.gov/sites/default/files/resources/2013/10/urbantreedecline_2013.pdf

Oak Wilt –> http://mdc.mo.gov/sites/default/files/resources/2013/04/fhalert_oak_wilt_2013.pdf

Fire Blight –> http://extension.missouri.edu/p/g6020

Bleeding Cankers –> http://www.hfrr.ksu.edu/doc1587.ashx

Ash Leaf Spot –> http://bygl.osu.edu/content/ash-leaf-spot-2

Boxwood Blight –> www.boxwoodblight.org

*Thousand Cankers Disease –> www.thousandcankers.com

*Thousand Cankers Disease –> http://extension.missouri.edu/treepests/thousandcankers.aspx

*Please be aware that “Black Walnut is ecologically and economically important to Missouri, and thousand cankers disease (TCD) is a serious threat to this resource. After reviewing symptoms of TCD, if you discover groups of walnut trees with suspicious symptoms that are not due to site disturbance or other issues, contact your Missouri Department of Conservation forester or email: forest.health@mdc.mo.gov …Photos can be very helpful in diagnosis.”

Missouri Exterior Quarantine Law: http://mda.mo.gov/plants/pests/exteriorquarantinelaw.pdf

If after viewing our extensive tree disease resources you have questions, since we specialize in being a tree service company, we can answer them.

Proper Planting Techniques Handout - Landscape Replacement Springfield MO

Proper Planting Techniques Handout – Landscape Replacement Springfield MO

Click Here To Download Our Proper Planting Techniques Handout

Proper Planting Techniques

  1. Choose a healthy, disease-free and pest-free plant with good structure relative to its species and if help would be beneficial we offer many landscape replacement services.
  2. Look up for wires/lights and around/down for wires, irrigation, gas, water, and telecommunications lines. .(AVOID FIBEROPTIC LINES AT ALL COSTS – EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE REPAIR COSTS)
  3. Find the top-most root and treat root defects for trees and large shrubs; (i.e. cut out stem girdling roots.) For smaller shrubs and plants pull roots out gently on root-ball to encourage horizontal growth. (Thicker root wads may need to be sliced with a sharp pocket knife or utility blade first.)
  4. Dig the depth of hole exactly the height of the root-ball (as measured from the bottom to the top-most root) and twice the width of root-ball width.
  5. Remove synthetic materials (burlap, wire basket, etc)
  6. Place plant in hole and position top root 1-2 inches above landscape soil
  7. Make sure plant or tree is straight by standing a distance away and examining it from multiple angles.  Face the fuller, healthier sides of plants and trees towards the area from which it will be most often seen.
  8. Add back soil and pack firmly around the root ball
  9. Soak planting area until full of water to push air out of any pockets
  10. Add mulch 2-3 inches thick on top of moist soil around root ball and step down gently to push soil down into any large air pockets.  Then spread mulch out around tree using proper mulching techniques.
  11. Stake and prune (only if needed)
Protecting Plants From Winter Desiccation - Shrub Care Service Springfield MO

Protecting Plants From Winter Desiccation – Shrub Care Service Springfield MO

After last year’s winter, many of our customers are concerned with losing plants in the landscape from the cold weather. I thought it may be beneficial to share some simple tips to help keep your plants alive during our sporadic Winters here in Springfield, Missouri. Below you will find 3 easy ways you could be protecting your plants from Winter desiccation.

Although it may be too late for many people, the first step in helping your plants live through the seasons is selecting the correct plants upon installation. Many plants have specific varieties that can handle cold temperatures or drought conditions better than other varieties or cultivars. Making sure your plants are in the correct Hardiness Zone for our location is one way to determine if a plant is suited to survive in our area. In Springfield, Missouri our Hardiness Zone would be considered 6a.  This information should be available on the plant’s tag at the nursery. If not, usually it can be found with a simple internet search from your smart phone. Search for “plant specifications for (plant name here)” or “plant facts for (plant name here).” Some good websites for plant facts will be your local botanical center (Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder) or a university extension website (Virginia Tech University Dendrology Factsheet).

Another simple way to keep your plants healthy during the more extreme weather conditions is by keeping a fresh layer of mulch over their roots.  Usually 2-3 inches is the appropriate thickness for your mulch.  Be sure to keep the mulch away from the woody trunk or stem of your plants because it will hold moisture against the plant.  This moisture can lead to conditions such as root rot or insect infestations.  Mulch only needs to cover the roots, not the plant itself.  There are many types of mulch you can use for your plants such as wood chips, tree bark, pine needles, crushed up pine cones, processed mulches, or leaves.  The experts recommend using a mulch that is relatively proportionate to the size of your plant.  For smaller plants, go with a finer mulch (mulched leaves, processed mulch, pine needles).  For a larger plant or tree, use larger mulches (tree bark, pine cones, wood chips).  Although, for aesthetic purposes, I recommend finding a happy medium and keeping the mulch color and style uniform across the entire landscape.  Of course, exceptions are always made for areas of focus.  A different kind of mulch or gravel could be used in a pathway or around a specific variety of plants for a sleek contrast that can really make a landscape “pop”.  Aesthetics aside, mulching your plants properly can make a big impact on their ability to handle Winter weather.

Something most people don’t think about during the Winter that can make a huge difference in the survival of their plants is the occasional watering.  If you can remember to water your plants about once a month during the Winter while irrigation systems are shut off, it could literally be the difference between the life and death of some of your plants.  Of course, you will want to make sure the weather is warm enough for watering before you spend the time filling up your watering cans.  During the winter we often have a cold, dry weather in Springfield with the occasional snow accumulation.  It may seem to us that we have had all kinds of precipitation, but usually it’s not nearly what we need.  To add to the trouble, snow is usually high in nitrogen.  Nitrogen, while an important element of plant health, can sometimes dry plants out when over applied.  A little water can dilute nitrogen levels, keeping plants healthy and better able to deal with the cold weather conditions.  Be sure to water your plants when we get those few warmer days during the winter.

The plants I’ve noticed that were affected most last Winter were our leafy-evergreen plants. Some examples would be Holly, Nandina, Azalea, Photinia, and Laurel. These may be some good plants to focus your efforts on for this coming Winter. Another good place to focus your efforts would be on high value plants, new plants, and mature plants. If you are unsure about how to maintain plants in your yard, be sure to contact one of our local professionals since we specialize in shrub care service. The local Conservation Department and the International Society of Arboriculture (www.isa-arbor.com) are great resources for finding educated professionals in your area.

Hopefully these tips will ease some landscape concerns this Winter and save you lots of money.  Happy Gardening!


Jeffrey R. Gabris, B.S., MBA,

ISA Certified Arborist: MW-5363A


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