Using Your Landscape to Care for Deer

Many homeowners go to great lengths to keep their landscapes well-maintained and healthy. Consulting and working with professional arborists, aligning properties with fences and working to limit, or completely eliminate, wildlife from encroaching upon a property are just a few examples of things that are often done to care for a landscape.

However, what if a homeowner desires to establish a landscape that is aesthetic, but also attracts wildlife, specifically deer? There are ways to make a landscape both attractive to and suitable for deer. Here are a few ideas how.

First, speak with an Austin wildlife specialist or perhaps a hunting club representative. Often, these individuals are quite knowledgeable when it comes to the specifics of deer in Austin. They can most likely address such questions as when do they begin to move, in which conditions do they best thrive and what do they eat. Answers to each of these certainly gives a homeowner desirous of making his/her landscape an environmentally-friendly one a great place to start in establishing such a place.

Second, plant trees, grasses and other sustenance that will attract deer to your landscape. Consider planting oaks, which produce acorns, a favorite for deer, or trees bearing fruit, such as pear, cherry or apple. You might also consider planting a clover patch, another favorite of deer, or adding a salt lick to an area of your property which is well hidden from view. This is because the deer will ardently dig to get to the salt and other minerals found in a salt lick. After several years of this behavior, it is probable that some of the soil will be displaced, and likely an eyesore, due to this manner of excavation.

Bear in mind that it may take some time, perhaps several seasons, before any trees you plant mature enough to achieve the purpose of attracting or feeding deer. Also, be especially cautious as to the proper care of any oak trees you plant, as oak wilt in Austin, although preventable, has become a growing problem in recent years. A licensed Austin tree trimming professional should be contacted immediately for assistance if you suspect that an oak on your property is affected by oak wilt.

Third, you might also consider planting areas of dense shrubbery or pine trees. Shrubs and accumulations of pine needles are preferred sources of bedding for deer.

Finally, be mindful of other animals that may be present on the property, whether welcomed or not. Pets, such as dogs, and other regionally-specific wildlife, such as mountain lions, bobcats, foxes and coyotes, may frighten the deer you set out and put forth such diligent effort to attract. Any natural opposition that exists between them could lead to injury to the animals, unsuspecting individuals or property.

Because a lack of food sources during the colder months could lead to a slow and cruel death through starvation for a species that is frequently overpopulated, these are great ways to help ensure the survival of perhaps one of the most beautiful and graceful of all wild creatures. If you have questions about how you can make your landscaping trees and other plant life both beautiful and provisional for the local deer herd, contact an Austin tree care specialist for guidance.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit

Austin tree service for assistance with developing and implementing ideas to correct any standing water issues you may have.'>

Dealing With Standing Water

If you have either undeveloped property or a developed landscape that perhaps has areas in which standing water is an issue, there are several things to consider that can correct the issue. Here are a few simple ideas to get you started.

First, standing water can be corrected by changing the grade of the landscape. Often, standing water results due to a landscape’s inability to drain water. This is especially true of areas that are lower than the grade of the surrounding landscape. Standing water puddles, ranging from small to considerable based upon the affected area of the landscape that sits below the grade. Standing water also creates an environment prime for fostering the growth of such disease-transmitting pests as mosquitoes. Certainly, choosing to raise the grade of the landscape will likely facilitate the ability to shed and distribute rainfall more evenly, as well as lessen the chances for the existence of pests on your property.

Or consider using such an inconvenience to your advantage. Consider the addition of a water garden in areas of the landscape that naturally retain and pool rainfall. Some steps may need to be taken to assist with the implementation and overall upkeep of a water garden, especially if you desire to maintain animal life, such as fish. However, there are many creative ways to take what exists naturally on your landscape and turn it into a more acceptable and aesthetic feature.

On the same note, rock gardens are also another possibility. This is because the presence of rocks will also facilitate a degree of natural runoff of precipitation, although it may not completely remove all standing water. Speak with an Austin arborist about structural layouts of rocks that will greatly reduce, if not completely eliminate, standing water. He or she can also advise on specific criteria, including the kinds of rocks available for constructing a rock garden, the best porous or smooth textures for either absorbing water or enabling runoff, and aesthetics, such as rock colors, patterns, and markings.

Some areas of standing water may be caused by landscape trees themselves. Even a tree’s organic drip line may result in areas of standing water, particularly in geographic regions that naturally contend with greater levels of annual precipitation or in those that perhaps go through periods of above average precipitation levels. If this is the case with any of your landscaping trees and you live in Austin, Texas, consult an Austin tree trimming professional for assistance. Appropriately and strategically trimming branches which enable standing water can sometimes correct the issue.

If you prefer to correct the issue with an environmentally-friendly solution, consider planting a tree that grows well in waterlogged areas. Willows and cypress trees are examples of trees that grow relatively well in damp conditions. An Austin tree care specialist can advise you regarding which trees may fare best under such conditions within the average Austin climate. With careful planning, the growth of the tree over time will also serve to improve the overall appearance of your landscape by detracting from, or hiding altogether, the sight of the standing water.

If you still have questions or concerns regarding standing water issues affecting your landscape, contact a licensed, professional Austin arborist for further assistance.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit

Heavy Equipment and Trees

Austin homeowners often make use of the warmer summer months to complete home improvement projects. These projects may include the addition of new rooms, expansions of existing rooms, installing a pool, or building new storage units, such as a detached garage. New additions or improvements typically add value to a home. However, a well cared for lawn, including landscaping trees, also adds value to a home.

Whatever the home improvement project, two things are certain. First, there will likely be a need for the use of some heavy equipment to complete the project(s). And second, there must be a balance between the care of the indoor and outdoor components in order to maintain the overall intrinsic value of the property.

If a home addition or improvement project is in your future this summer, here are some things to consider.

Bear in mind that projects or improvements to the home itself may require the use of certain heavy machinery, and this may still indirectly affect surrounding landscaping trees. Depending upon the proximity of the location of the project to the landscaping trees, inadvertent scrapes to the trunk may occur. In places like Austin, Texas, oak wilt disease is not only prevalent, but is also easily transmitted by such incidents. Always exercise caution.

If at all possible, plan to surround the trees with a temporary barrier, such as a mesh or small wooden fence. This is an excellent visual cue to assist in the provision of some distance between your valuable trees and the hired workers, who will be focused on completing the task at hand and will be less familiar with your landscape.

Consider, too, that even if the site of the home addition or improvement project isn’t so proximal to any landscaping trees that it appears any damage could be done, it still may be possible. Depending upon the species of the landscaping trees, it must be remembered that the roots of a tree grow horizontally, often two to three times the circumference of the canopy. This means that the roots of a tree with a 20 foot canopy may extend anywhere from 40 to 60 feet beyond the tree. By all appearances, it may seem that a tree is safe from any possibility of damages when, in fact, it may still be vulnerable.

With this in mind, if the size of your lawn and the spacing between landscaping trees allow, try to establish a walkway/workway that minimizes both foot traffic and the weight of the necessary equipment on areas where roots may be located.

If limbs are in the way of an impending project, contact an Austin tree trimming service to assist with their appropriate removal. Hiring a licensed and reputable professional ensures the continued viability and integrity of the tree.

Additionally, if limbs are in the way of an impending project, but won’t necessarily be problematic once the project is complete, consult an Austin arborist regarding how best to temporarily and safely suspend the limbs until the project is complete.

Home improvement projects may also include changes to the landscape, such as the addition of new trees or aerating the lawn. Before planting or aerating, be mindful of the possibility of roots from nearby trees that may extend toward or into the project area. Also, when aerating, use extra caution when working near the trunks of trees to avoid damaging them.

If there are ever any doubts or concerns as you plan, or even after you’ve begun, home improvement projects, contact an Austin tree care service for assistance and guidance.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit