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Home  > Local Tree Care Services  > California, CA  > San-Mateo County CA



Atherton, CA

Most Atherton residents look forward to the growing season when trees are in bloom and everything is green and growing. This is a wonderful time to live in San Mateo County, but spring and summer are also when landscape trees face the greatest potential for damage from storms. Storm damaged to trees in Atherton typically fall into one of three categories: broken tree branches, bent or leaning trees, and uprooted or fallen trees. How, and when, you adress storm damaged trees can make the difference between a tree that recovers from storm damage and a tree that eventually succumbs to storm damage.

Broken And Fallen Tree Branches

This is the most common type of tree damage that occurs in Atherton after a storm. If you're lucky the branches break and leave stubs in the tree. This allows an arborist to come in and prune off the broken stub with a proper pruning cut. When broken tree branches tear bark from the trunk of the tree it takes longer to heal and puts the tree at greater risk of decay, insect infestation, or infection from disease.

Bent or Leaning Trees

If your tree is bent or leaning after a storm this is a little more serious than a few broken tree branches. If the trunk of the tree is bent it may, or may not, be possible to straighten it. If it is a small tree it will naturally orient to a normal, upward growth habit over time. If the tree is leaning it might be possible to straighten and stake it and have it continue to contribute to your landscape. It's important to keep the soil around the root zone moist until an arborist can straighten the tree. This will make it easier for the arborist to get the tree as straight as possible. The tree should remain staked for at least a year, maybe longer for a large leaning tree. It's critical to make sure the staking material (specifically the guylines) don't girdle the tree trunk. Staking systems need to be checked and adjusted while the tree is recovering from being uprooted. It may be necessary to fertilize the tree to help promote root growth and keep the tree healthy while it is recovering from being uprooted.

Uprooted Or Fallen Trees

It can be heartbreaking to see a tree that has graced your landscape for many years lose a battle with a storm. Smaller uprooted trees might be able to be saved, but large fallen trees will probably need to be removed. If an attempt is going to be made to save an uprooted tree then the exposed tree roots and the soil around the root zone should be kept moist. This will help keep the exposed tree roots alive and will make it easier for the arborist to reset the tree in the proper position. Just like with a leaning tree, an uprooted tree that has been straightened should remain staked for at least a year. If it's a large uprooted tree then your arborist will have no choice but to remove the tree entirely. While this can be disheartening it does provide you the opportunity to reconsider your landscape and maybe make improvements to your landscape design. Your arborist can recommend a replacement tree and may even be able to plant the new tree for you.

The best course of action is to take a proactive approach to managing potential storm damage to your trees. This involves keeping your trees properly pruned, which helps reduce storm damage to your trees. Research and experience has proven that trees that are properly cared for are less likely to be damage when stormy weather rolls through Atherton.


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San Francisco, CA

San Francisco County residents should keep an eye on their evergreen trees for signs of Pine Pitch Canker. First discovered in Santa Cruz County in 1986, the disease first infected Monterey Pines in San Francisco County. Since being identified on Monterey Pine the disease has also been confirmed to infect several other evergreen tree species. Known hosts of Pine Pitch Canker include Italian Stone Pine, Canary Island Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Coulter Pine, Torrey Pine, and Douglas-Fir trees.

One of the first symptoms of Pine Pitch Canker is the dieback of branch tips in the upper crown of the tree. Pitchy or resinous cankers may be visible on twigs, branches, or the main trunk of the tree. If you suspect your tree may be infected with Pine Pitch Canker you should consult with an arborist familiar with the disease or a state forestry official.

There are no fungicide or insecticide treatments available to effectively control or prevent Pine Pitch Canker. Pruning of infected tree parts can be done to eliminate or slow the progress of the disease. Infected debris acts as a reservoir for the disease, and the insects associated with the disease, and should not be moved from the site, if possible.


Pacific Heights, CA

Scientists recently confirmed that a branch sample taken from a Coast Live Oak tree in the fall of 2010 was infected with Sudden Oak Death. The initial concern was that the disease could easily spread to the hundreds of other Oak trees in the Presidio. It now appears the infection is an isolated incidence of infection.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has implemented a quarantine in several California counties to attempt to limit the spread of Sudden Oak Death. California counties under quarantine include Alameda, Contra Costa, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz Solano, and Sonoma counties.

Arborists have a fungicide treatment to help prevent infection of Sudden Oak Death. The fungicide will not cure an oak tree already infected with Sudden Oak Death.

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