How to Inspect Trees After a Storm

After a strong storm moves through the area, it’s important to inspect both the exterior of your home and your landscaping. From flooding to cracked tree branches, damage caused by a storm should be dealt with as quickly as possible. Especially if the situation is hazardous.

The following three steps will help you inspect trees and clean up after a storm:
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3 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Trees

Are you making some resolutions for the new year? You might want to add some resolutions to help your trees in your yard. Below are 3 new years resolutions for your trees in your yard to stay healthy.

Mulch Your Trees

Many people don’t know that mulching your trees can make a huge difference when it comes to their trees’ development and health. This is especially true for trees that have been planted recently.

Below are some of the benefits of mulching:

  1. Mulch helps to provide insulation to the ground and gives the tree a strong buffer from the fluctuating cold and hot temperatures.
  2. Mulch helps the trees retain moisture and water in their roots and it helps keep them healthy and well hydrated.
  3. Mulch helps with combating the growth of weeds, so the tree doesn’t have to compete for nutrition and water.
  4. When you mulch your trees, it will help with creating thick foliage so that they can give your shade, nice, strong climbing branches, and juicy sweet fruit.

Keep Your Trees Watered

Watering your trees is going to make a big difference when it comes to their development, especially for newly planted trees. Although many trees live for many years, the tree is going to need regular watering when it’s newly planted.

Below are some tips to know how often to water:

  1. Newly planted trees – It’s important that you give newly planted trees water right after they’re planted. The roots still are taking root in the ground and becoming acquainted with that new soil. That’s why they need a lot of moisture so that they can attach their roots firmly to the soil.
  2. 2-3 years – Your tree’s first two years are going to be very challenging for tree, especially the trees that need a lot of moisture and water for growing and developing.
  3. Hot Summers – When you have a really hot summer, most of the energy that a tree expends is towards growing and making buds. The growing is done during the early part of the summer. In the later part of the summer, they’re storing up their reserves to start that process again when spring comes. You want to make sure that you are watering your trees so that they can produce the necessary sugar through the process of photosynthesis and stay cool. If the summer’s especially hot, the leaves of the tree could start wilting or falling off so that further loss of water is prevented.
  4. Mulching and water – Properly mulching the tree can help with maintaining moisture at the roots.

Drought and heat often can cause the root system of a tree to become dry, which will prevent the tree from getting moisture and water from the ground. That’s why mulching is so important.
Correctly Prune Your Trees

As time goes by, you should prune the trees. This will help with establishing and maintaining good structure and health, particularly in young trees. As the tree grows, pruning is going to help the tree stay beautiful and healthy. You should have a plan before you do your pruning. You should remove diseased, crossing and dead branches so that the tree is able to health properly rather than wasting its energy on the problem branches. You also want to make sure that you are using the proper practices for pruning so that the pruning cuts are healing properly.

These are three things that you should make sure that you are doing for your trees. Doing these things will help keep your trees healthy and looking beautiful. You are going to see a huge difference in how they look in your yard!

Pinellas County Tree Company

Regardless of your tree services need, you can count on B&T’s Tree Service. We serve clients throughout Clearwater, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, St. Petersburg and all of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

All you have to do is call (727) 244-6070 to request a free estimate!

10 Tips for Avoiding Tree Service Scams

If you are considering having trees trimmed or removed from your property, one thing that you want to know is that there are a lot of scams out there. So you want to avoid the scams. Below are ten tips that you can use to avoid scams when you are having tree work done.

Make Sure They Have Insurance

When you are checking your possible providers, you want to make sure that they have the right insurance for worker’s compensation and liability. They should send their insurance certificates to you right from their insurance company. Otherwise, they may be providing you with a certificate that’s fraudulent. If the company has some kind of accident, and they don’t have the right insurance, you’re going to be liable. You’ll have to make the repairs to the property and be responsible for injuries.

Check with the BBB

Make certain the company’s accredited with the BBB. Even though it isn’t as strong as in the past, this accreditation is going to be a good sign of whether they are reputable. You also want to know the type of rating they have. They should have good standing.


It’s a good idea to do a bit of research so that you can find out the type of reputation the service has with the community. The right service will have positive reviews online in many places. Check and see if they have membership in one of the reputable trade associations. These are things like the ISA or the TCIA. How many years have they been doing this? Are there any complaints on discussion groups, online forums, etc.? Get references from the company if you want additional insurance. This is important especially if you are doing an expensive project.

Be Careful of Cheap Prices

If the price that you have been quoted seems like a steal, you should look elsewhere. Even though you want to get a bargain, the chances are that the price they are quoting you is not a bargain. There could be one of several reasons why they’re quoting a low price:

  • No experience
  • No certifications or insurance
  • They’re only going to do some of your projects.

Be Careful of High Prices

You also want to be careful of someone who has quoted you something high. You don’t want to pay a lot of money for something that is simple, like removing a small tree from your property.

Get More Than One Estimate

One of the best ways that you can decide if the price is too low or too high is to get a few estimates. A good way to get a good idea of what it’s going to cost is to consult with three companies. From those estimates, you should have a good idea of what the price should be. If you can, you want to meet with the representatives face to face. This is going to help you with judging the professionalism and expertise of the company. It also will let you ask questions, find out what is going to be involved and other things.

Compare Apples and Apples

When you are considering different estimates, you want to make sure that you are comparing what they are offering. If one of the services is offering additional benefits or services, this should be considered. Maybe one of the companies is taking the tree down, and another is removing the tree section by section. It’s going to be a lot easier for the tree to be taken down all in one piece, but it’s going to cause additional damage to the property. When the tree is taken down in pieces, it’s going to lead to less damage to the property, but it’s going to take a lot more effort and time and will cost more. This also is a good place when you should compare a service’s knowledge, presentation, service, and professionalism. Remember that you shouldn’t just consider the price. You should be listening to your gut about the company will work best for you.

Don’t Fall for a Door-to-Door Contractor

You shouldn’t do business with someone who is going to door-to-door, especially if you are hiring someone for a huge project like tree removal. A lot of DA’s and the BBB regularly warn against doing this. A contractor who is traveling door-to-door go from one town to another and prey on the homeowners particularly seniors. If you tell yourself that you refuse to do work with these kinds of people, you’ll avoid getting into a scam. Besides, you don’t want to decide to complete work on trees without thinking about it. There are a lot of variables that you should think about first.

Be Cautious Following Disasters

One thing that you want to do is make sure that you are careful after a disaster. This is usually when con artists come out. This might be one reason why you have to hire one of those door-to-door contractors that we warned against before. If you have a tree that’s lying atop your house, so that you don’t have any electricity, it’s possible that you want to hire one that is passing by. However, you should still be cautious and make sure that they’re not overcharging you. There’s a lot of companies who charge high rates for easy removal of trees following hurricanes and ice storms. You also should make sure the company provides the necessary certifications and insurance.

Only Pay When You’re Satisfied

After you have chosen your tree service that you’re happy with the thing that you want to remember is that you never want to pay until you’re completely happy with the work. There were a lot of instances when a homeowner paid for the project they were having done up front, and then they didn’t hear from that company. One of the popular tricks among the less than reputable services is to start the project, ask for the money so they can pay their workers, pay for gas, etc., and then disappear. This especially is true with companies who remove stumps. In that scenario, the company has removed the tree completely and requested payment; then they promise to return so that they can remove the stump. When they have gotten the payment, they don’t come back. It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t pay anything until it’s done and you’re happy. If you pay up front, they have your money, and they have no reason to return.

These are the ten tips that you can use to help you avoid tree service scams. They will help you find the right company and get the work done that you want to be done without losing money.

5 Good Shade Trees for Southern Florida

If you live in Southern Florida, one thing that you know is that it can get very hot there. That’s why you want to know what good shade trees that you can buy that are perfect for the region. Below are 5 trees you want to consider when you’re looking for good shade trees for Florida and what they have to offer.

Black Olive

This tree is a Florida Keys native and it produces capsules that are black seeded and small, which are not edible. It grows to be 40-50 feet high and will stay green through the year. The tree’s trunk is smooth, and it will form a complete crown as it grows.

One of the most interesting things about the tree is the blue-green leaves. These leaves contain tannins, which often stain things like walkways or driveways if you wait a while to clean them up. this tree’s appreciated for the beautiful foliage as well as its branching, and finally for its shade.

Live Oak

These deep rooting trees are very resilient, and they hold strong even when there’s a hurricane. This means that it’s perfect for South Florida. They also are great to use for windbreaks, which means that not only can they give you shade but they also can help protect your buildings during a storm.

These trees are excellent shade trees in the south, and they’re known for their arching branches reaching out from their trunks dramatically and canopy shapes. The branches of the trees reach, and they look gorgeous when they’re lit up at night. Squirrels and birds often build a home in them because there’s lots of cover and food. Live oaks are a huge fan of The Keys’ and South Florida’s acidic soil, and the tree’s roots are going to dig down and go into rock with no problem. This means that they’re not just focal points, but they’re also hardy trees for shade that don’t need much care.


The mahogany tree’s delicate, fine leaves have a texture that’s different than the other shade trees, which will add some interest to your landscape in South Florida. Even though it’s an evergreen tree, there’s something dropping of the leaves with mahogany, although it doesn’t contain tannins, so you don’t have to worry about stains. It’s also known for the beautiful red bark, which is very popular for furniture. When you plant this kind of tree, you’re contributing to the tree’s sustainability. It’s on the endangered list of trees in Florida. This tree has a very dense canopy that it produces so it will give you a lot of shade.

Ficus Tree

This family of trees will do well growing in Florida. It appreciates the tropical climate there, and it comes in many different varieties. In The Keys and South Florida, the one that is found there is a ficus area. This tree can grow as tall as 100 feet and as wide as 100 feet if you leave it alone. You also can shape it and manipulate the way it grows.

Ficus Aurea’s trunk is fatter when compared with other varieties of ficus, so it provides you with a stable tree for shade. This is very beneficial because of those powerful winds that the area experience. It grows shooters that are string-like that will drop down out of the canopy, then takes root in the ground so that larger branches are supported. This is why they’re called Florida Strangler figs.

Gumbo Limbo

Sometimes this tree’s called a Tourist Tree. This name comes from the red bark on the tree which peels back, a lot like when tourists are sunburned, and they peel. Other than the noticeable bark, this tree grows some branches that start pretty close to the grass and then splay out artistically. The structure of the tree is stunning, and it’s also tolerant of wind, which means it’s great for The Keys and South Florida.
It’s tolerant to salt, so it’s safe for the properties along the post. Another exciting thing about is that in Central American countries, some people cut the branches off and then stick the branches down into the ground near to one another like a fence. The branches will take root and form a living wall from trees. It’s so cool!

These are five good examples of South Florida shade trees. When you want a tree to keep you cool during the summer, these trees are good ones to choose from.

3 Tips for Pruning Your Palm Tree

If you live in a state like Florida, the chances are that you have at least one palm tree or 10. One of the things that you want to do is make sure that you are pruning your palm trees the right way. Below are three tips that you can use for palm tree pruning to help extend the life of your palm tree and to help them look the best that they can.

Keep your fronds pruned freshly

You know that it’s time to trim your palm fronds back when you’re noticing fronds dropping at the circle space that begin turning brown or yellow. Cut those dying fronds near to the trunk of the tree, but don’t cut them too close.

It’s easy to damage the bark, and those spots often become points of entry for disease and pests.

Make sure you’re judicious

One thing to remember is that you should avoid pruning a larger number of fronds than your palm tree will produce in a single year. For each frond that the tree produces, the tree’s oldest frond is going to turn brown or yellow and be ready to be pruned. The fronds that are green will help your tree produces food so that it can survive During the hard times such as drought and cold.

Make sure that you aren’t over pruning since this can compromise your tree’s overall health and weaken the palms.

Remove the smaller coconuts

This is for safety. This is going to prevent small coconuts from harming people or property. A palm tree can grow 100 feet or more, so you want to consider whether you’ve got the right expertise and tools to remove coconuts and prune properly. If you’re not sure whether not you have the right tools, it’s a better idea to choose someone to do the job for you rather than risk your health by doing it yourself.

One thing that you must remember is that not everyone is cut out to do their palm tree pruning. If you aren’t sure about what to do or how to do it, even after reading these tips, it’s best to call someone to have them do it for you. This can help you save money and stay safe since they have the experience and tools that are needed to do the job safely and effectively.