Eight Signs Your Trees Need Professional Attention: Tree Service Insights

Trees have many ways of telling us that something is wrong, but most of their warning signs are subtle. Here are eight signs that your trees need professional attention and what these signs might mean for your trees’ health.

1. Your Trees Aren’t Growing or Are Growing Asymmetrically

When you first plant a tree from a sapling, you might be surprised to notice it’s not growing all that quickly. With transplanted trees, this is a common occurrence, and it’s usually not a problem. Young trees take about three slow years to really hit their stride, and a common saying in tree service is, “The first year it sleeps, the second year it creeps, and the third year it leaps.” While this generally applies to perennials, it’s also true for most deciduous trees (meaning they grow and shed their leaves each year). You should notice some activity from new trees. With older trees, growth should be fairly uniform, meaning the tree grows fully and evenly on both sides. Common issues that can cause asymmetry in a growing tree include improper sunlight and internal diseases. If you notice that your tree isn’t growing quite right, it always pays to contact a professional for a consultation.

2. You Notice Discoloration on the Leaves or Bark

Trees can be good at hiding their issues, but some signs of disease and decay are pretty easy to notice. Discoloration on the leaves or bark of your tree can indicate a number of issues, like inadequate water or disease. When disease or malnutrition goes unchecked, tree removal may be your only course of action. That’s why it’s important to act quickly if you notice the leaves are discoloring out of season or the bark develops patches. Fungal diseases are usually the cause of this discoloration, but only a skilled arborist will be able to know for certain.

3. Bark Is Missing or Peeling

After discoloration in the bark, the next step in a diseased tree is for the bark to fall off or begin to peel from the tree. Missing or peeling bark isn’t only a sign of disease, though. Pests like the emerald ash borer (EAB) can quickly cause a tree to shed its bark. Other causes of rapid bark loss include heat shock and animal activity. In some trees, bark loss is a natural part of a tree’s life cycle, but it’s hard to distinguish between normal and disease if you can’t see evidence of insect activity. In the case of emerald ash borer activity, that’s a sure sign that a tree needs to be cut down. The only effective way to save other trees is immediate action in the case of these highly invasive insects.

4. You See Fungal Growth on the Trunk or Branches

Fungal growth is not always obvious; in fact, it often manifests as subtle discoloration or other minute changes in a tree. But in some cases, the fungus can be visible on the trunk, leaves, or branches. Visible rot or fungal growth that looks like mushrooms or black tumor-like masses are all possible. If you see these, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at The Parke Company. If you’re concerned about how much it costs to remove a tree, don’t panic. We offer a free consultation and estimate to ensure you know exactly what to expect from the process.

5. Your Tree Is Leaning Heavily

A tree should grow fairly straight, but in nature, that doesn’t always happen. While it might not necessarily be a sign of disease in your tree, a slanted tree could pose a risk to the safety of your property or that of your neighbors. How can you tell if a tree needs to be cut down when it’s leaning? Leaning trees are far more dangerous than trees with a more uniform structure. They are more susceptible to wind damage and are at a higher risk of uprooting. A tree of any size can cause significant damage to property and people, so it’s never a good idea to leave a leaning tree to chance.

6. The Branches Have Deadwood

Falling branches and limbs are a sure sign that a tree isn’t doing great. While some small branches are expected to shed as a tree grows, it shouldn’t be a daily thing. If you’re noticing more downed branches in your yard all of a sudden, it’s time to reach out to an arborist for advice. At The Parke Company, we have decades of combined tree care experience and the skills to properly treat or remove a tree.

7. Leaves Are Falling Quickly or Unexpectedly

A sudden, out-of-season shedding of leaves is one of the leading signs that a tree needs to be removed from your property. While deciduous trees are meant to lose their leaves every fall, when it happens in the spring or summer, you should be concerned. Don’t overlook this unsightly change, as it’s a tree’s clearest signal that something is very wrong.

8. There Is Visible Damage to the Tree From Weather Events

Storm damage is one of the biggest causes of disease in trees. Each damaged limb is an open wound that can allow pests and diseases to find a direct route into the tree’s internal workings. Even the healthiest tree is susceptible to damage if it’s exceptionally windy or if there’s ice or heavy snow. While some fallen branches after a bad thunderstorm are to be expected, it’s important to monitor the health of your tree after such an event. Moisture and damage can combine to host a variety of fungal infections. Excessive damage after a storm might also mean the tree is weak. If your tree is more damaged than the others around it after a storm, it might be a sign that there’s something wrong with it. Consulting with a licensed arborist after a storm is the best way to ensure you’re taking care of your trees.

Time for a Tree Check-Up? Call The Parke Company

When your trees are showing signs of damage, an arborist consultation is a must. Protect the safety of your property and the trees on it; reach out to the pros at The Parke Company at the first sign of trouble in your trees.

Tree Pruning vs. Tree Removal: Making the Right Decision

An arborist pruning a tree

When it comes to tree care and finding the right tree service provider to handle your tree care, you need to do your research. Knowing whether you need tree pruning or tree removal is not always easy, so here are some tips to make the right decision for your property.

Assessing the Situation

Whether you’re keeping a close eye on each tree on your property or just noticed that one isn’t as full of leaves as its neighbors, visual inspections are a must for keeping your trees healthy. There are a lot of signs to look for to determine if something is going wrong, and if it is, tree pruning or removal might be necessary.

What are the biggest warning signs that you can see on your own? In the spring and summer, a lack of leaves is a sign that a tree is in trouble. Whether the tree is actively dropping leaves or simply not growing as many as other trees around it, you’ve got a clear indication that something is wrong. Another surefire sign of an issue in a tree is the presence of fungus. Mushrooms growing from the trunk are a good indicator that something is wrong, but there are countless other kinds of fungal infections that manifest in other ways. Gray powder on leaves can be a sign of a fungal infection called powdery mildew. Other types of fungal infections cause issues like root rot, heart rot, and soft rot. Trees are highly susceptiblFinding the Right Tree Service Providere to fungus because it feeds on the main structure of the tree, its bark, and its foliage. As the fungus feeds, it spreads and can quickly cripple a healthy tree. Unless you’re a trained arborist, you probably won’t be able to see some of the more subtle warning signs that a tree is unhealthy, so it’s important to get help. At The Parke Company, we have multiple certified arborists with decades of experience between them on staff, ensuring you get the best service possible.

Tree issues like fungal infections don’t just happen out of the blue. Your trees’ health depends on you noticing things like standing water or damaged limbs. A broken branch is like a cut on our bodies, and if left untreated, it can allow infection in the forms of fungus and pests into the tree. Working with a tree pruning service is an excellent way to prevent limbs from breaking by proactively and safely removing limbs susceptible to decay. This keeps your tree healthy and your property safe from fallen limbs.

Tree Pruning vs. Removal

So, do trees really need pruning? And when is tree removal the right call? While we’ve discussed tree pruning as the preferable option to tree removal, there are situations when removal is just the right call. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to think of your trees as a part of a bigger picture. There are scenarios where it may be best to remove a tree from the micro-ecosystem that is your yard. Unhealthy and dead trees can spread disease and pests to nearby healthy trees and cause damage to the surrounding plants and structures on your property. Fortunately, there are many things that a certified arborist can do to help your tree before it comes down to removing it. The best way to prevent things from escalating to total removal is to be proactive. As part of your yard’s landscaping maintenance, explore what options are available for tree inventory and assessment. Having an arborist inspect your property on a yearly basis can catch issues when they’re treatable, thus preventing a larger project. Tree pruning services are much less expensive than the cost of tree removal, so it’s wise from a budgetary standpoint to have your trees inspected.

Finding the Right Tree Service Provider

It might be tempting to try pruning trees on your own, but there are a few reasons why you should leave this to the experts. The biggest reason for letting an arborist prune your trees is personal and property safety. Tree pruning can be dangerous without the proper tools and training, especially when the pruning is high in a tree’s canopy. People have died attempting to remove branches on their own, even if they aren’t particularly large or high up. The dangers of tree removal and pruning are real, and they should be taken seriously. Arborists have years of experience and tried and true methods for safely conducting pruning and removal. This benefits you and your property, keeping you and your home safe from the risks associated with falling limbs.

Another reason for letting the experts handle the pruning is less obvious. While pruning a tree can prevent it from becoming unhealthy, doing it wrong can actually cause further harm. If you don’t properly cut a limb off (or perhaps cut a healthy limb that doesn’t need to be removed) you’re wounding the tree. Even in the hands of a pro, pruning does damage a tree. Arborists know how to minimize that damage, and they know the proper cuts to ensure that the tree isn’t susceptible to infection as it heals. Their knowledge also helps them determine the proper weather for removing a limb, and there’s no better time to prune than in the winter. This is because the tree is resting and can commit more energy and nutrients to healing the wound. Pruning in the summer or spring, when new leaves and fruit are growing, splits the tree’s available resources between each important activity. This can cause the tree to grow slower or heal slower.

The Parke Company has been servicing trees in Nashville for decades, and we’re ready to help you with your property. Since it’s hard to determine whether you need to prune or remove a tree on your own, let us perform an inspection for you. Even if you don’t notice any visible signs of distress in your trees, that doesn’t mean there isn’t something going wrong. With the expertise that comes with being a tree removal professional, arborists can see past the obvious.

Finding the Right Tree Service Provider

The arborists at The Parke Company are your best bet for healthy trees this year. Give us a call today for a free consultation and estimate for whatever tree services you may need.

How to Create a Landscaping Budget for the New Year

Paving stones on a pathway.

The New Year is here! That means it’s time to review your landscaping budget to ensure you and your lawn are ready for spring. Here are some of our best tips for getting an accurate budget for your landscaping projects this year.

Assess Upkeep Needs

A good landscape needs regular maintenance, and the associated costs with that upkeep are the first things you need to consider when you create a landscape budget. Any budget must start with the bare necessities, so consider things like lawn mowing costs, irrigation maintenance, spring and fall cleanup, and all other associated costs to keep your lawn looking its best year-round.

So, how much does this all cost in 2024? You can do different budgeting levels for your lawn and garden this year, and these different levels come with different features. A $2,000 landscaping budget is a comfortable maintenance budget in the Nashville area according to national and local publications. Setting aside $2,000 for landscaping this year will enable homeowners to afford regular maintenance like lawn mowing, leaf blowing, storm cleanup, and garden bed maintenance. Re-mulching garden beds and around trees, as well as pruning and light tree trimming, should all be on the agenda as well.

Note that your lawn’s size and the complexity of your needs can raise this price. Lawn care professionals can work all year long in Nashville, ensuring that your lawn is well-groomed no matter the season. The expert landscapers at The Parke Company have decades of experience in maintaining Nashville lawns, and we offer maintenance plans that can work with your budget.

If you’re looking for some budget landscaping ideas, try DIY. If you’re able to perform some upkeep yourself, like mowing the lawn, you can cut back on your out-of-pocket costs. While pruning and trimming trees and maintaining irrigation should be left to the professionals to avoid costly mistakes, you can take care of some tasks on your own. Nobody likes leaf and stick cleanup in the fall and winter, so we certainly don’t blame you for budgeting that and having us cover it!

Research Your Additions

There’s never a bad time to expand your landscaping, and with prices stabilizing in 2024, it’s looking more affordable than it’s been the last two seasons. While things are still pricier than they were just a few years ago, you’re going to want to consider upping your budget to stretch your dollar further this year.

A $5,000 landscaping budget can allow for some additions to your landscaping ranging from the inexpensive to the relatively extravagant. One awesome addition to any Nashville lawn this year is an irrigation system. Depending on the size of your property, lawn irrigation can be an effective way to keep your lawn looking greener and fuller without breaking the bank. Moderate to large irrigation installation projects can fall in the range of $3,500, so if your lawn isn’t massive, it might be reasonable at that price. If your lawn is only about a quarter acre, expect to pay around $2,000 (conservatively). An irrigation system is an excellent addition to your lawn and a worthwhile investment for most. Healthier grass is easier to mow safely, you’ll prevent browning during droughts, and you can even take care of watering flowers, trees, and bushes automatically. With the right system in place, you can conserve water/energy, save time, and cut maintenance costs over the long term.

Other popular landscaping additions include new garden beds with mulch or topsoil, planting new trees, shrubbery, and flowers, and more eco-friendly options like compost bins and water cisterns. No matter what you do for your lawn this year, know that the professionals at The Parke Company are ready to help. With our free consultations and estimates, you’ll know whether you’re budgeting enough for lawn care and landscaping in 2024.

Maximize Aesthetics

The biggest way to make your lawn incredible in 2024 is to go all out. Setting a large budget for your landscaping is a great way to invest in your property for the short and long term. Whether improving curb appeal in a fixer-upper home or simply making your house feel more like a home, big changes to your lawn can be incredibly impactful.

Tree removal services are a great way to remove unsightly or old trees from your property and can greatly improve the safety of your home as well. Large trees, even if they look healthy, can pose a lot of risk to your property and your family during storm season in Nashville. Tornadoes can be devastating, and removing trees safely before they have the chance to fall can save you a lot of money and headaches. Tree removal is not cheap, but it can be great for aesthetic purposes and the security of your property. Having money in your landscaping budget for tree removal is something you should definitely consider in 2024 if you foresee tree troubles.

Other, pricier landscaping options include abundant hardscapes, a fancy name for the man-made additions that bring a yard together. From paved walkways to pergolas, fire pits, and garden arches, hardscapes are a great way to enhance natural beauty with constructed decor. Many hardscaping jobs are costly, so if you’re including them in your budget, be sure to research how much things cost well in advance. In the end, no matter what you opt for to enhance your landscaping in 2024, you’re going to be happy you budgeted for it early on. Not everyone can splurge on huge landscaping changes this year, but there are options to beautify your lawn to suit any price point. Many maintenance plans come with monthly payment options to spread out costs evenly throughout the year, and you’ll reap the rewards of having to do less of the undesirable yard work. You can still flex your green thumb, but let us handle the piles of leaves.

Start Landscape Budgeting Now

2024 is underway, so if your budget needs extra guidance, The Parke Company can help. Give us a call today to talk with one of our experts and schedule a free consultation and estimate for the services you need in the new year.

Color in the Cold: What Can You Plant in Your Landscape This Winter?

Flowers planted in the winter.

Winter is not a season we associate with gardening, even in Tennessee where winters can be relatively mild. But just because it’s harder to find plants for your landscape this winter doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Read on to learn about some of the cold weather options you can plant today.

Plants and Flowers You Can Plant in the Winter

Violas and Pansies

Finding hardy flowers and plants that actually stay green in the winter, and in many cases bloom with flowers, is easier than you think. While you don’t often see colorful winter landscaping, it’s not due to a lack of options. Instead, most people just don’t think to try to grow flowers in the winter. But plants that grow in winter are out there, especially in a milder area like Nashville. Violas and pansies are two colorful floral options that can blossom in the colder months of the year, giving your yard a much needed pop of color.

Pansies start blooming in the summer and extend all the way through winter. In milder climates, which Nashville is known for, pansies can be vibrant through the fall and into winter. These flowers have relatively wide spread, making them perfect ground cover to fill out an otherwise mostly empty flower bed. While they don’t need as much watering in the winter, they do require sunlight and some moisture if things stay too dry.

Violas are another great winter bloomer, usually flowering in the late winter. Close relatives to the pansy, these flowers are colorful and vibrant, and are a welcome sight poking through the snow. They’re a great indicator that winter is coming to a close, and provide a great deal of color when other plants haven’t even started waking up.

Snowdrops and Hellebores

What plants can survive the cold winter better than one literally named “snowdrops?” Snowdrops get their name for their distinctive white color, and dramatic, drooping bud. Planted in the late fall, these beautiful flowers crop up in the late winter and early spring. Like violas and pansies, these can begin blooming while snow is still on the ground, and they’re sure to liven things up in your yard. Unlike violas and pansies, snowdrops are perennial flowers. This means that once you plant a bulb, you can expect it to bloom each and every year as long as it’s well-maintained. These flowers don’t require a great deal of sunlight and can grow in the shade of bushes and other plants, only making them stronger contenders for the best winter flower.

Another perennial, the hellebore is a type of rose that also grows in cold weather. Also called lenten roses, hellebores can be planted in the fall, and bloom as early as February here. Unlike snowdrops, hellebores vary in color, from vibrant pinks and purples to paler, richer shades, and other colors like yellow and red. One variety of hellebores is commonly referred to as the Christmas Rose, for its unusual December blooms. Perennials are a great option for providing lasting winter color to your landscape, and these two really shine in our area.

Evergreens and Deciduous Trees

Deciduous trees are dormant in the winter as they’ve shed their leaves, focusing instead on reserving nutrients and expanding growth to the roots and trunk. But the best time of year to plant deciduous trees is actually in the fall and winter. As long as the ground isn’t frozen, these trees should be planted when the weather is cool and their leaves aren’t growing. This gives the newly transplanted tree more energy to focus on establishing a healthy root system, as resources are limited in the cold.

What other landscaping plants grow in winter? Evergreen trees are of course an excellent source of color in the dreary winter for your landscaping. Aptly named, these trees remain green all year round, and can even sport colorful “berries” or vibrant pinecones, which act as their seeds. Common evergreens include spruces, cypresses, and junipers, though there are even more options beyond these. Each of these groups of evergreen trees are considered coniferous, which means they bear needles and cones rather than leaves and seeds. Many juniper trees have “berries,” which can supplement the vibrant and dark green their needles already provide. Though they’re referred to as berries colloquially, they actually are cones. These are the female seeds of the plant, and just happen to resemble berries in texture and appearance. Juniper berries closely resemble blueberries in shape and color, but are generally a bit smaller than what you’ll find in the produce aisle of your grocery store. While juniper berries aren’t technically fruit, they can be used in baking and distilling alcohol. Junipers provide a practical use along with an aesthetic boost to any winter landscape.

Evergreens aren’t the only plants that can provide color in your landscaping. Winterberry holly is a type of deciduous shrub that grows natively in Tennessee. Unlike evergreens, the holly does drop its leaves, but not before putting on a wonderful autumn display of reds and deep purples. Once winter sets in, the holly grows a dazzling display of vibrant red berries that complement evergreens and grow alongside them very well.

Planting With the Pros This Winter

Worried about making the right decisions when it comes to planting flowers, shrubs, and trees that grow in the winter? Winter landscaping services in your area are more affordable than you might think. The Parke Company has decades of experience working in the Nashville area, and that experience will work to your benefit. We can handle the planning, and the planting of your winter landscaping this year, so you can enjoy all the wintry colors without getting your hands dirty.

If you’re ready to learn more about how The Parke Company can help, give us a call today. We provide free consultations and estimates, and we’re confident we can make your winter landscaping dreams a reality this holiday season.

How to Turn Your Yard Into a Winter Wonderland This Holiday Season

House with Christmas lights and decorations.

No matter how beautiful your landscaping is, there’s always room for improvement. Creating a beautiful and healthy yard is a year-round task, so here’s how to ensure your landscaping is a winter wonderland this holiday season.

Ways to Transforming Your Outdoor Space into a Winter Wonderland

Fall and Winter Maintenance

The best way to guarantee your lawn looks like a winter wonderland this holiday season is to keep it clean. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of a well-manicured yard, from an aesthetic standpoint and in terms of your lawn’s overall health. Fall and winter are the messiest times of year for lawns, with fallen sticks and leaves creating ugly, grass-smothering conditions. It’s important to note that leaves aren’t just a fall inconvenience — they can damage your lawn and other plants in your landscaping.

So, if you want your front yard to be a winter wonderland, fall and winter cleanup is critical. Staying on top of the rapidly falling leaves can be a challenge on your own, but performing regular raking or leaf blowing can help keep the leaf piles to a minimum. If you’re having trouble managing your fall and winter cleanup, landscaping companies like The Parke Company offer winter landscape maintenance services that include leaf and stick removal. Nobody loves spending their fall weekends raking, so why not get help from the experts? Besides having specialized tools that enable much more efficient leaf removal, The Parke Company landscapers can also perform other maintenance on your property.

Your landscaping depends on each component being healthy within the ecosystem, and your trees are especially important. It’s not easy to get your lawn looking like a winter wonderland, but one important aspect is tree pruning. Pruning trees and shrubs is critical to keeping your lawn looking its best, and your tree health can be greatly impacted by whether pruning is done, and how it’s done.

The best time of year to prune trees is the winter, for a few important reasons. Arborists, or tree surgeons, want to look at the tree in its full glory in order to assess for damaged limbs. Without leaves, a tree is laid bare and can be easily visually inspected. There is a wrong way to remove a branch or branches from a tree, and doing it incorrectly can actually harm a tree much more than help it. In the winter, trees are dormant, not expending their limited resources and energy on anything but surviving. Since pruning a tree is traumatic for trees, they need to have enough energy to devote to healing. Unlike in spring and summer, your trees are not using energy to grow new leaves and buds, so winter is the perfect time for them to focus on healing.

Well-manicured trees are more than just aesthetically pleasing — they’re also more prepared for winter weather. The weight from snow can cause fallen limbs and branches to clutter your yard or even damage vehicles and property. By removing these limbs before the winter weather can happen, you eliminate that concern.

If you have an irrigation system for your lawn, how you care for it can greatly impact its longevity. Each fall, as the weather cools, it’s important to perform several maintenance steps to winterize your irrigation system. Freezing temperatures can cause water in improperly drained sprinkler systems to freeze and expand, destroying sprinklers and pipes. Avoid costly repairs this spring to your irrigation system by ensuring it’s properly winterized.

Winter Hardscapes

Installing Christmas winter wonderland yard decorations can be a hassle without proper equipment and experience. From holiday lighting to lawn decor and a yard’s overall decoration design, things can get pretty complicated. Landscaping companies like The Parke Company can help more than you think, from planning to installing holiday lighting fixtures and decor.

But it’s not just lighting and holiday decor that create a wintry landscaping dream. Other hardscapes in your garden can be great for practical purposes as well. Why not install a fire pit for cozy gatherings by the fireside, or a pergola or gazebo for covered outdoor meeting places. Nashville winters are often mild, and spending some time outdoors in a warm and well-themed environment can be a great way to socialize or entertain. Wreaths, garlands, and other decor can also be provided and installed by a landscaping company, so don’t assume your landscaper is limited to more general-use decor and hardscapes. It’s always worth asking what they provide, or whether they can help to install the yard decorations for holidays you’ve purchased on your own. It’s much easier to put lights on a tree using a boom lift than a ladder — trust us.

Holiday Softscapes

Nothing says winter wonderland quite like evergreen trees. The pine tree has been a staple of Christmas decor for centuries, and its aesthetic value can be great year-round. The late fall is the perfect time to plant new trees in your landscaping, and evergreens are popular options for enhancing those holiday aesthetics. When every other tree and plant is bare, evergreens provide a pop of green that your lawn desperately needs.

Evergreens are an excellent choice for winter regardless of whether or not you celebrate Christmas, and their benefits don’t stop at aesthetics. Pine trees provide eco-friendly mulch in the form of their dropped needles. Pine needles can be used to mulch garden beds and around trees, making your lawn more self-sustaining. Evergreen shrubs are just as festive in their appearance as evergreen trees, and they can be pruned and shaped into festive designs by skilled topiarists.

Get in the Holiday Spirit With The Parke Company

No matter what you need to do this winter with your landscaping, The Parke Company has you covered. If you’re ready to begin your yard’s transformation into a winter wonderland, give us a call today for a free consultation and estimate for whatever winter services you need.