5 Most Common Lawn Diseases in Florida

red mushroomsLawn disease is a problem folks in Florida don’t have to worry about as much as our neighbors to the north. But sometimes heat, humidity, and poor irrigation combine to create brown, sickly spots in your yard. What are the most common culprits of lawn disease in Gainesville?

Common Lawn Diseases in Florida

  1. Brown patch fungus. Landscapes with St. Augustine or Zoysia grass are particularly susceptible to brown patch fungus, which develops when high levels of heat combine with significant moisture. Look for it in the summer and fall, when heat, humidity, and rainfall are at their highest. To treat brown patch fungus, use targeted fungicides and refrain from adding nitrogen fertilizers to the soil.
  2. Dollar spot fungus. At first no larger than a silver dollar, dollar spot fungus spreads quickly, killing the grass all the way to the root. Other signs of dollar spot fungus include grass blades with pale marks of infection and cobwebs on the grass with the morning dew. Once dollar spot fungus takes root, the only solution is to remove infected grass and plug the area with new sod.
  3. Gray leaf spot. When gray leaf spot takes hold, the grass blades develop brown spots that may have velvety patches. It’s caused by overwatering and, once spread, causes grass to become thin and patchy.
  4. Rust fungus. Does your lawn look like it’s been left out to rust? That orangey powder is a fungus that leaves your landscape vulnerable to other lawn diseases. Overwatering is a primary cause of rust fungus; it’s particularly vicious in shaded areas where water doesn’t evaporate as quickly.
  5. Fairy rings. This natural phenomenon might give itself away with a cluster of mushrooms in a perfect circle, but just as often they’re simply a round patch of vivid green grass. Fairy rings are said to be bad luck if you step inside, but they’re bad for your lawn regardless. Fairy ring fungus spreads along the roots, leaching nitrogen from grass. Aerate the lawn and water regularly to keep the roots healthy.

Regular landscape maintenance is the best way to prevent lawn disease. Professional lawn care solve irrigation issues, maintain your yard, and solve any problems causing your grass to wither and die. Contact Mr. Tree and Lawn Service to schedule your Gainesville landscape maintenance today.

Storm Series #2: Post-Storm Clean Up

Preventative tree care can go a long way to minimizing storm damage. But even the best prevention can’t completely negate the risk of tree damage in your yard. Was your landscape torn up by a sudden storm? Make sure you know the right steps to safely cleaning up your yard after a storm.

Always Put Safety First

It’s important to protect yourself as well as your property. Always take appropriate safety measures when cleaning up storm damage.

  • work gloves and ear protectionBe on the alert. Stay away from utility lines and keep an eye out for dangers, both in a tree’s canopy and at its base.
  • Don’t trust your eyes. Broken limbs may still be lodged in the canopy, but can fall unexpectedly.
  • Look for trees in contact with power lines. A tree that touches a power line (as well as the ground at the base of the tree) can become energized, creating a major danger.
  • Dress appropriately! If you’re skilled, attired correctly, and own the proper equipment, it’s usually okay to handle storm clean up yourself. If you’re untrained or wearing flip-flops and a t-shirt, you’re only putting yourself at risk.
  • Always follow the guidelines in your instruction manual for any power equipment you’re using.

Evaluate Tree Damage

Are your trees at risk for causing more damage? To determine whether a tree can be saved, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the tree healthy (apart from fixable storm damage)?
  • Are most major limbs and/or the leader branch still intact?
  • Is at least 50% of the tree’s crown intact?
  • Are there remaining branches that can form a new branch structure?

If so, there’s a good chance the tree can be saved. If you’re not sure whether or not your tree has a chance, consult a professional.

Learn to Repair Minor Damage

  • Remove any broken branches or stubs still attached to the tree.
  • Remove any jagged limbs still attached to the trunk. Wounds are an easy entry-point for decay and disease.
  • Prune back smaller branches to the point where they join with larger branches.
  • Remember that over pruning can cause more damage to the tree. Remove dangerous limbs, and leave aesthetic pruning for the dormant season.

Know What You Can Handle

There’s a clear delineation between what a homeowner can handle, and which tasks require a professional touch. Any tree damage that’s not on the ground should be handled by a professional. Attempting to fix leaning, cracked, or otherwise damaged trees yourself can pose a threat to your life. Tree removal specialists have the experience and equipment to safely remove damaged trees and branches. Call a pro when:

  • Large limbs are broken or hanging overhead, requiring chainsaw work to safely remove.
  • A tree is uprooted or fallen. It may seem like a simple matter of hacking away at the branches, but there are unseen pressure points, which can cause a violent, catapult-like reaction.
  • Downed trees or branches lay close to power lines or water lines, report it to your utility company immediately. Do not attempt to remove the tree on your own.
  • You encounter a task you’re not trained for or feel uncomfortable attempting by yourself.

When in doubt, call the pros. If you have storm damage you’re not equipped to clean up, call Mr. Tree and Lawn Service for reliable, affordable tree removal in Gainesville.

Storm Series #1: How to Prevent Storm Damage

Watching the colors shift on the weather radar can feel as inevitable as watching a splintered tree limb crash towards your car. But just because a storm is coming doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. Protect your yard, your property, and your home by preparing trees for storms to minimize damage.

What Causes Storm Damage?

The most common culprit of storm damage is trees. Storms can uproot trees and damage trunks or branches, which crash to the earth with no regard for what (or who) is in their way. The most common types of storm damage include:

  • tree fallen on carBlow-over: Heavy wind and rain can cause trees to lean or topple
  • Branch failure: When a storm damages the structural integrity of a tree limb, it can break, falling to the ground or becoming trapped in the canopy
  • Crown twist: Gale force winds can cause the canopy of an asymmetrical tree to warp, twisting or breaking exposed branches
  • Root failure: When roots are not anchored deeply enough in the soil, torrential rain can strip away their foundation, leading to an increased risk of blow-over

Look for Potential Tree Hazards

Storms can cause all kinds of damage, splintering, toppling, or structurally damaging the trees on your property. This can lead to thousands of dollars worth of property damage if a tree falls into the yard, house, or nearby power lines. But by paying close attention to the health of your trees, you can minimize the detritus of summer’s next storm. Walk around your property regularly, looking for potential tree hazards that a storm could turn into some serious damage.

  • Cracks in tree trunks or major branches
  • Branches leaning over the roof or near power lines
  • Hollow and decaying trees
  • Trees with a visible lean
  • Anything in close proximity to utility lines or major structures
  • Shelf-like fungus or mushrooms

Many of these hazards are signs of heart rot in trees, while others may be remnants of past storm damage or signs that the tree is buckling under its own weight. Ignoring tree damage—even damage that seems minimal to the naked eye—can cause trouble down the road. Take proper preventative measures to protect your property from tree damage.

Preventative Steps to Limit Storm Damage

For smaller problems like removing damaged limbs, homeowners can often tackle tree troubles on their own. For larger problems that affect entire trees, contact a qualified tree removal specialist to ensure the tree is removed safely and efficiently. You can prevent possible storm damage by:

  • Removing dead, diseased, or damaged limbs
  • Pruning branches that are growing close to the house, power lines, or street
  • Checking gutters and removing debris to prevent water damage
  • Calling Mr. Tree and Lawn Service to inspect trees with large cavities and determine whether they need to be removed
  • Contacting a professional to remove trees that grow in close proximity to the home, utility lines, or walkways and driveways

Mr. Tree offers 24-hour emergency tree removal services in Gainesville. Don’t relinquish the safety of your property to the whims of upcoming storms. Be proactive and minimize property damage.

3 Keys To A Perfect Lawn

Are you prepared for the summer? Do you know how to handle your lawn during the hottest part of the year? If you answered “no” to either of those questions you should continue reading, as we at Mr. Tree will provide you with a few ways to ensure you are ready for the Florida heat this summer.

green healthy grass

Aerate Your Lawn

Aerating is essential to having healthy grass. You can aerate with anything really, as long as it can puncture the ground, breaking up the soil and roots beneath it. A common tool used for aerating is a pitch fork as it consists of several points to help the job go by quicker. Aerating is important because it gives your lawn space to breathe and gives space for the essential nutrients to get down into the roots.

Change The Height Of Your Lawn Mower’s Blade

Looking at the top of the blades of grass in your lawn you may notice that the top third looks very flimsy or leafy. Adjust the blade of your lawn mower to just cut off that top portion of the blade. And don’t worry about raking up the excess that is cut off, as there are essential minerals in the cut grass that can help the rest of the yard grow healthy. If you cut the grass too low, the roots of the grass can be exposed. Exposing the roots of your grass can cause them to get too much sun, which burns the roots and gives your grass a “dead” look.

Know The Right Amount And How Often To Water

Some people are under the impression that they should water their lawn a little bit every day. That’s not the most efficient way to hydrate your lawn. When you water a little at a time, you’re only watering the top of the blades. If it is a hot day out with a lot of sunlight, the sun can evaporate the moisture before it gets down into the roots. Instead, water more deeply but less frequently. Doing this will allow the water to get down into the roots which is where the water is really needed.

If you practice these different tips on your lawn, you will be amazed at how green and healthy your lawn can look. If you would prefer that a lawn care service does all of this for you, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Tree. We know what good grass looks like, and we are dedicated to giving you the best lawn care service in Gainesville.

The Keys To A Beautiful Lawn

Your lawn is one of the most important parts of your home. When guests arrive or neighbors drive by, you want them to see a beautiful, well-kept yard. Beyond the visual appearance, it’s also healthy for your lawn to do regular upkeep. Listed below are several important ways to keep your lawn healthy and beautiful.

green grass

Lay New Sod

When you look at your lawn, what is it that takes up the most space? For most people it’s the grass. If your lawn looks lackluster, you can give it a quick visual boost by laying new sod. Give your lawn the lively look it deserves. This is the perfect time of the year to lay new sod, because spring brings in the rain, but we’re haven’t reached the full heat of summer. New sod requires plenty of water and you are certain to get that right about now.

Mow Regularly

Mowing the lawn is very important if you want great curb appeal. Grass is very similar to your hair. It is important to trim your hair to keep it healthy. Creating a mowing schedule can help you keep on track and keep healthy grass growing the way you want it to. Just make sure to adjust your mower height for summer!

Maintaining the Lawn

  • Aerating your grass is crucial if your lawn is going to receive the right amount of oxygen. You can use a pitch fork or other spiky object to puncture holes in the lawn, loosening the compacted soil. This allows space for oxygen, water, and other important nutrients.
  • Remove weedsWeeds can be some of the worst pests your lawn will encounter. Removing them is simpler when the weeds are younger. To properly destroy the weed, it’s important to dig the weed up and remove the entire root.
  • Remove old tree stumpsThis can be one of the most important steps in preserving your lawn. Old tree stumps can continue growing underground, and their roots destroy water pipes and nearby sidewalks. Not to mention they’re unattractive! Avoid problems by removing them early.

At Mr. Tree in Gainesville we can help with all of your lawn care needs. We offer free estimates, affordable lawn care, and lawn care tips and tricks.

The Beautiful National Gardening Week

National Gardening Week is right around the corner! This first week in June is the time to show off your masterpiece to friends and neighbors, as well as educate yourself on the different elements of gardening. As this wonderful week approaches, we at Mr. Tree and Lawn Service in Gainesville, FL want to provide you with ways to get involved.

Beautiful Vegetables From A Garden

If gardening is not something you are already participating in, we encourage you to get started! There are plenty of DIY (Do It Yourself) packs that can get you on your gardening feet.

National Gardening Week is a time for you to show your garden to all of your friends. You can get ideas from them that can help you enhance your garden! The size of your garden doesn’t matter during National Garden Week. Just be creative and be prepared to showcase your landscape.

You will notice an increase in gardening awareness and education in your area during this week. If you are interested in learning more about gardening and the importance of National Gardening Week, keep an eye out in your communities. You’ll probably see a lot of fun events at garden centers in Gainesville.

At Mr. Tree and Lawn Service we would like to extend our assistance to you in whatever way we can. We offer quality advice to you as you start your garden or look to improve an existing one. For inquiries about your situation or ways we can help, please contact us by visiting our website. We look forward to hearing from you!

Important Reasons To Remove Tree Stumps From Your Yard

As you start thinking about clearing trees out of yard, it’s time to consult Mr. Tree and Lawn Service in Gainesville, GA. It’s a great idea to remove stumps from the lawn. In fact, it makes your landscape healthier! But when it comes to such a specialized task, it’s a good idea to let the professionals handle it. Why?

Tree Stump To Be Removed

  • The roots of a remaining tree stump can be dangerous. As they continue to grow they can take hold of your water pipes and snap them in half. They can also grow into the foundation of your house or walking sidewalk areas. Tree roots can cause damage to structures around your home.
  • Tree stumps can be an eyesore and a hazard. A tree stump in your yard is nothing more than a stump. It looks bad and serves no beneficial purpose. They can also become hazards in your yard. While out walking in your yard you could trip and fall over the stump. This is especially common with elderly folks.
  • They may be an obstruction to potential work. If you are looking to add on to your house, the damage caused by roots and the general existence of the tree stump can cause complications in your plans. While you are mowing your lawn, you will have to redirect around the tree stump, interrupting the pattern of your lawn.

Eliminating tree stumps can help you avoid all of these potential issues. We are more than happy to help! All you need to do is call!

Topping Trees (and Other Pruning Mistakes)

A beautiful tree can transform a landscape. So can an ugly one. How can you avoid ruining your landscape with an unattractive tree? Make sure to avoid these common tree trimming mistakes.

5 Trimming Mistakes That Ruin Trees

  1. Topping. Have you ever driven past a row of crape myrtles with ugly, stumpy tops? This hack-and-slash pruning technique is called topping (also known as crape murder). It leaves trees weak, unattractive, and with a long road to recovery.
  2. Over pruning. It may be tempting to chop every branch that looks out of place, but over pruning leaves trees susceptible to disease and decay. If you find yourself tempted to trim half of the branches away, it may be better to remove the tree entirely.
  3. Abusing the canopy. Raising the crown of a tree can let sunlight filter to the grass, remove dangerous branches, and improve curb appeal. But when you raise it too high or prune only the interior of the canopy, you leave the tree looking strange, stunted, and vulnerable.
  4. cherry blossomsPoor technique. Many homeowners are tempted to cut branches flush to the tree trunk. This practice removes the branch collar, which helps the trunk heal the wound. Cutting a branch too close to the trunk leaves it vulnerable to pests and disease that enter at the site of the cut.
  5. Bad timing. Every tree has its season. While it’s advisable to prune dangerous or storm-damaged branches when the problem occurs, stick to seasonal pruning and shaping at the right time of year for each species.

Don’t stress about trimming your trees. Leave it to the pros. Call Mr. Tree and Lawn Service to trim, shape, or remove trees from your Gainesville property.

Raising the Crown

No, we’re not talking about the drama series depicting Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne. Call us common, but we’re talking about basic best practices of tree trimming. Raising the canopy of a tree can improve its health and function in your yard. But as Winston Churchill discovered with the Queen, raising the crown is no easy task. Do it right, and you’ll have a flourishing landscape for decades to come. But any mistake could have disastrous effect. Mr. Tree shares how to raise a crown the right way.

How to Raise a Canopy

Raising the crown of a tree is a common tree trimming practice with big benefits. When done right it:

  • Keeps the canopy away from power lines and traffic
  • Prevents branches from hanging over homes and buildings
  • Creates a more attractive view, both from the house and from the curb
  • Lets more light filter through
  • Opens space beneath the canopy for kids to play

So what’s the problem? Pruning too much, pruning too fast, or pruning the wrong branches can cause discoloration of the wood, trunk rot, or unexpected growth. That’s why lifting a tree canopy requires skill and forethought. So how can you ensure it’s done right?

Tips for Raising a (Tree) Crown

  1. floral crownThink ahead. The foundation of a healthy tree is its trunk. When you remove all of its branches, you put it at risk for sunscald and other diseases. Instead, prune away lower branches slowly over the course of several years.
  2. Respect the heavy hitters. Large lower branches have supported and shaded your tree while it grew. If you remove these limbs entirely, your trunk can easily decay. Thin these branches instead of removing them.
  3. Protect the future. Young trees have a lot of life ahead, but they’re more vulnerable than established trees. Never trim more than 25% of a young tree.

Need help from the pros? Call Mr. Tree and Lawn Service for tree trimming services in Gainesville.

How to Make a Kid-Friendly Summer Landscape

In a few short weeks, summer vacation officially arrives. In a few weeks + one day, your yard will be overrun with laughing, shouting, running kids. Is your yard ready for summer break? Transform your backyard into a family paradise with these tips from Mr. Tree and Lawn Service.

How to Make a Kid-Friendly Backyard

You don’t have to sacrifice curb appeal to create a backyard space for the kids. A few simple changes will make the lawn a summer oasis for both kids and adults.

  • boy crawling in flowersPlant trees. Not only will planting trees help lower energy costs by shading the house, they’ll provide a cool place to play for the kids.
  • Build a sandbox. Do you have toddlers or young children? A sandbox will provide hours of play, and they’re inexpensive to build. Make your kids’ play area more visually appealing by bordering it with perennials and small shrubs. When the kids outgrow the sandbox, you can transform it into a raised vegetable garden or flowerbed.
  • Choose wisely. Rose bushes may be beautiful, but thorns aren’t kid-friendly, especially if you have curious toddlers. Leave the prickly bushes for a few years down the line. Plant sweet smelling flowers and plants kids can interact with like lamb’s ear.
  • Lay the groundwork. Remove any flowerbeds or obstructions that may cause kids to take a tumble. Give them a clear place to walk by laying a stone pathway from the back door to the sandbox or playground.

Need help renovating and maintaining the landscape? Call Mr. Tree and Lawn Service in Gainesville.