The Amazing Olive Tree

The olive tree, or as it is known Olea europaea and comes from the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean, Syria, Asia Minor and northern Iran. The cultivation of the olive tree is something people have been practicing for many years.

While the fruit of the tree is primarily used for the making of olive oil, the wood has been utilized for the making of furniture and the leaves for medicinal use.

It is believed that the first olive trees were grown in Syria. In Ancient Greece, the tree was seen as holy and people were punished if caught cutting it down. Because of the tree’s fruit, medicinal use and history, many myths and lore have been written about it. In Homer’s Odyssey, the tree is talked about. Greek myth even has tales that involve the olive tree. For instance, Athena won the patronship of Attica from Poseidon with the gift of the olive. The olive tree is mentioned in other stories and myths. Theophrastus speaks of the olive tree of Athens and the Roman poet Horace mentions it in his diet. The olive tree and olives are mentioned in the Bible over 30 times. And, in the Quran, it is praised as a precious fruit.

Olives have been cultivated and grown commercially as far back as 3000 BC by the people of Crete and it was a source of wealth of the Minoan civilization. Ancient Greeks would smear olive oil on their bodies and hair for grooming and health.

After the 16th century, the olive was brought to the New World by the Europeans. Its cultivation began in Mexico, Peru, Chile and Argentina. By the 18th century it found its way to California. Today, some believe there are over 800 million olive trees in the world, with the vast majority still found in the Mediterranean countries.

The olive is harvested in the autumn and winter. Green olives are picked at the end of September to the middle of November. Blond olives are picked from the middle of October to the end of November and the black olives are collected several weeks into winter. The seasons vary to each country. Olives are harvested through the shaking of the boughs or the whole tree. Some harvest the olive by standing on a ladder and ‘milking’ them into a sack tied around their waist. There is also a device called an oli-net that wraps around the tree trunk and opens in the form of an umbrella like catcher from which workers collect the fruit. For large commercial olive growers, an electric tool is used call the oliviera. It has large tongs that spin around quickly, removing the fruit from the tree. Because the fruit is usually damaged, this method is used for the making of oil.

When picking olives for the eating, or what is called ‘table olives’, more care has to be taken as to not damage the fruit. Baskets are hung around worker’s necks and olives are harvested by hand.

Olives are a naturally bitter fruit so it typically is fermented or cured with lye or brine to make it more palatable. The use of natural microflora on the fruit is used to ferment the fruit. This fermentation leads to important outcomes: the leaching out and breakdown of oleuropein and phenolic compounds and the creation of lactic acid, which is a natural preservative. The result is a product which will store with or without refrigeration. American black olives are not fermented, which makes them taste milder than green olives.

Fresh olives are often sold at markets. Olives can be used green, ripe green (a yellower shade of green, or green with hints of color), through to full purple black ripeness. Olives should be selected for general good condition and for firmness if green.

Olives can also be flavored by soaking them in various marinades, or removing the pit and stuffing them. Popular flavorings are herbs, spices, feta, capsicum, chili, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic cloves, wine, vinegar, juniper berries and anchovies.

The olive and its use has only grown with time – this is possibly why the tree has always been so sacred.

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

Dead Trees Equals Energy

There are many ways to produce energy and one of them is based on wood waste. Through the use of wood waste such as dead limbs, dead trees, thinned trees and other wood products that typically are discarded, energy is created from direct incineration. How does this work?

Wood products are converted to energy in a handful of ways. They include:

Thermal Conversion – Heat is used to turn the biomass or wood into another chemical form. Forms of thermal conversion include combustion, torrefaction, pyrolysis, and gasification. Thermal conversion basically takes plant matter and heats it, but doesn’t burn it and yet breaks it down into various gases, liquids and solids. These products are further processed and refined into useful fuels. Biomass gasifies capture methane released from the plants and burn it in a gas turbine to produce electricity. Another option is to take these fuels and run them through fuel cells, converting the hydrogen-rich fuels into electricity and water with few or no emissions.

Chemical Conversion – With this process, biomass is chemically converted into a liquid similar to diesel fuel.

Biochemical Conversion – Biochemical breaks down the molecules of the woody products to create biomass. Micro-organisms are often used to perform the conversion process through anaerobic digestion, fermentation, and composting. Bacteria, yeasts and enzymes break down the carbohydrates. A similar process is used to turn corn into grain alcohol or ethanol, which is mixed with gasoline to make gasohol.

Biomass has become a popular energy alternative due to its availability and soft impact on the environment. While biomass is only used to create 1.4 percent of the U.S. electricity supply, its potential is greater. The use of biomass reduces air and water pollution, increases soil quality and is said to reduce erosion and improve wildlife habitat. Biomass reduces air pollution by being a part of the carbon cycle, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 90 percent, compared to fossil fuels. Fewer fertilizers and pesticides are used to grow energy crops, which reduces water pollution. Biomass crops are also renewable.

Other products used for biomass besides tree clippings and dead trees include garbage, various forms of grasses, and animal matter. Within the wood industry, wood is turned into what is called pulping liquor. Pulping mills have used black liquor as an energy source since the 30s. Black liquor is obtained from cooking pulpwood into paper pulp, removing lignin, hemicelluloses and other extractives from the wood, which frees the cellulose fibers. The result is an aqueous solution that contains half of the energy content of the wood, which is then fed into a digester. Due to this energy, pulp mills are now burning as much of the black liquor they produce as possible, generating steam – thus helping the mills reduce problems with water emissions, reducing their use of chemicals by recovery and reuse, and helping them become nearly energy self-sufficient.

The development and use of biomass is a growing industry, mostly as effective as the proximity of the products – such as wood, is to the plant where it is processed. As it continues to grow, it could help meet America’s large energy consumption needs.

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

The Arizona Cypress

The Arizona Cypress, scientifically known as the cupressus arizonica, is a species of cypress found in very specific places around the globe. The tree is native to such areas, as: southwestern New Mexico and Arizona, west Texas, and southern California. Specifically, the tree can be found within the Chisos Mountains, as well as the Sierra Juarez pine-oak forest of Mexico. The tree falls under the cupressaceae family line. It is believed that this variety of cypress is prehistoric, and existed over 10,000 years ago.

This average sized Arizona cypress normally reaches fifty to sixty feet in height, and fifteen to thirty inches in diameter. The spread of such a tree can reach up to thirty feet at full maturation. It can grow up to three feet per year, for its first three years. Its physical image is that of a red-brown bark, grayish leaves and cones that are often one inch in diameter. The cones begin to grow in fall of its second life season. They are often consumed by squirrels when on the tree and rodents after they fall.

The Arizona Cypress is prone to growing on dry lands, mountain slopes or the inner walls of deep canyons. The tree only requires approximately ten inches of water each year, which allows for its growth in desolate areas. It does require direct sunlight on a regular basis, which is why they grow easily in the southwest of the United States, as well as northern Mexico.

Today, the Arizona cypress is slowly dying in numbers. It is believed that the drought of 1996 put a strain on a large grouping of plants. Also, the cypress bark beetle is known to attack and weaken the limbs and trunks of cypress trees. The bark beetles lay eggs within the tree’s bark. After the larvae hatch, they tunnel into the tree, ruining its nutrient tubing and tissues. This quickens the death of the tree. Other enemies of this dry-earth creature are mistletoe and rust. Mistletoe, a parasite, with also slowly eat away at the tree’s nutrient system, killing it off within a short time span.

There are several environmental uses for the Arizona cypress tree. Although the actual timber existing within the tree has little value for building purposes, it is often used for craft woods. The entire tree has also been used as the desert Christmas tree in family’s homes. The tree is thick in branching, so it is often planted to divert heavy winds from natural tunnel areas. As it also has a sturdy root system and trunk, fence posts are created from the tree as corrals for cattle and horses.

The Arizona cypress has been around for years, and continues to grow in the vast deserts and harsh weathers of the south. With its multitude of natural uses the tree will continue to be used for southwest landscaping. Whether grown at home, or in the wild, this piece of nature contains a great deal of history.

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

Xeriscaping Your Property

Xeriscaping is a type of landscaping wherein the focus is to create a natural garden or lawn-area that requires minimal water and/or maintenance.  Often times this landscaping option will include sculptural features, rocks, gravel and simple plantings.  In dry climates, xeriscaping will include cacti and other succulents.  The lawn will also be tolerant of droughts; which are prone to some regions within the south.  Areas that have intense moisture will tend to use more foliage.  It is often the idea that in placing the correct negative spaces in type of landscaping, that the positive plantings can grow naturally within a chosen area.  The professionals that specialize in xeriscaping are often referred to as ‘xeriscapers’.

There are many reasons why individual or commercial property owners choose to xeriscape their property.  The conservation of water has become an important part of our daily existence on earth.  It is not only environmentally-friendly to conserve water, but it can also substantially cut down on water costs.  There are even some regions in the south and southwest, where water usage is monitored for lawn care.  In particular cases such as this, to xeriscape, may be a good option.

Currently cities in the south and southwest have been encouraging their citizens to xeriscape.  Contests have been held for creativity, efficiency and visual beauty.  Most all municipalities will continue to encourage the technique for water conservation purposes.

There are several other reasons of efficiency as to why this new method of landscaping has becoming quite popular.  There are many ways in which landscaping costs can be lessened, as well as ways in which the environment can benefit.

Fuel:  The conservation of fuel has become an important topic these days.  To preserve fuel, by not having to mow an entire lawn, or trim grasses, can be cost effective. 

Solar-Power:  It is often the case that when considering fountains, waterfalls or lighting for a minimalist landscape, solar panels can always be an option.  Solar-power can conserve energy, as well as drop electrical costs.

Zen gardens have become another way in which to minimalize the grasses and maintenance of a lawn.  With fountains, miniature river scenes, and rock/sand gardens, the zen garden can also become a place for meditation or basic beauty.

A ‘xeriscaped’ lawn can be a creative way in which to design an outside living area.  Most all landscaping architects or plant/tree companies will have trained employees to better help you with your visions and ideas.  In conserving the earth’s resources and creating an area with magnificent visual aesthetics, it is easy to fall into such an interesting new idea.  A dry desert climate is not a requirement for xeriscaping.  The technique would apply to any persons interested in simplifying their lawn care and lowering utility costs all-together.  Although the task of xeriscaping a lawn can be tedious and strenuous and first, the results could be phenomenal. 

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

Sage or Not Sage

Saging or smudging ones home has become a popular practice among many. Considered an ancient Native American tradition to drive away bad spirits or negative energies, people across the country – especially the west and southwest, are often in search of some sage of their own.

But do they know the difference between the type of sage burned for ceremonies and sage that grows on shrubbery? There is a difference, even though the two look somewhat similar and are promoted equally.

The first, Sagebrush or Artermesia tridentate is not the type of sage Native Americans typically burn for energy clearing. Despite this fact, hundreds of people are pulling its leaves off and bundling them just for this cause. The sagebrush is of the shrub family and grows in arid sections of the western United States and Western Canada. It is a coarse, hardly silvery-grey bush with yellow flowers and grows up to 10 feet tall but most typically 1 to 2 feet tall.

Sagebrush has a strong fragrance, like sage, but a bitter taste. The sagebrush’s leaves are wedge shaped, about 1-4 cm long and are attached to the branch by the narrow end. The outer and wider end is generally divided into three lobes. The leaves are covered with fine silvery hairs, which protect the plant from water loss. Sagebrush flowers bloom in the late summer or early fall.

The White Sage or Sacred Sage comes from the Salvia apiana family. This sage is of the mint family, while the Artemesia is of the sunflower family. Salvia apiana is typically only found in Southern California and in the Baja area.

White sage also looks quite different than sagebrush. It is a sub-shrub that grows a little over a meter tall and has leaves that are 4 to 8 cm long. The leaves are covered with dense hairs giving them a white coloring. The leaves also have tapered bases and are minutely toothed. The leaves are also highly aromatic and are used for the smudging.

Although we think of the White Sage primarily for smudging, Native Americans have used these plants for several uses. Seeds have been ground into flour to make porridge. Leaves are used for flavoring cooking or to remedy colds. Seeds are dropped into the eye to cleanse eyes. Leaves are crushed and mixed with water to make shampoo and dye. Leaves have also been used in teas to decrease sweating, salivation and mucous secretions in the sinuses, throat and lungs. Leaves have also been used as a uterine hemostatic during heavy menstruation.

As far as the smudge sticks, the white sage leaf is believed to cleanse a space of evil spirits. It is said that the plant when burned releases a fragrance that negative spirits dislike the smell of. In this, the sage also releases a troubled mind. Sage leaves are often bundled into ‘wands’ and wrapped tightly to keep them burning. The wands are about 6 to 18 inches long. To draw in positive spirits, sweetgrass is then burned.

Some traditionalists believe only the White Sage should be used for ceremony. Others say any sage of the Salvia family will work. Then of course, there are those who say herbs from the Asteracea family are just as useful.

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

History of the Bonsai Tree

The bonsai tree first originated in China, a little over one thousand years ago. Pun-Sai was the term that described the practice of growing a single small tree within a potting system. These trees were grown because the warped trunks and branches had images parallel to that of: dragons, birds and other types of known animals. In the late 1800’s, the bonsai was introduced to Japan. Those of Eastern Buddhist religion grew the trees, representing the internal bond between human and nature. The notion was to bring the outside greenery into the monk temples, and close the gap between man and nature. At this time, only monasteries or monk philosophers owned such trees. As the bonsai tree began to grow into more of an art form in the fourteenth century, the ownership broadened to the artist and the elite societies.

These elite Japanese professionals took to growing the trees indoors also, as did the monks. To maintain the bonsai was to reduce the tree down to its essential portions. The idea was that the tree itself was just as sacred as the empty spaces between branches. The minimalist philosophy was very strong in Japan at this point in history.

By the early nineteenth century, artists, and the general public began to deem the surrounding soil and rock formations in a bonsai pot just as important as the tree itself. This miniature landscaping was to replicate that of a natural existence; artistically presenting the bonsai tree in its natural wilderness environment. Ceramicists also took interest in the bonsai, as the pots required for their planting and growth were additionally to be of such artistic background.

In 1921 Norio Kobayashi published the first ever issue of Bonsai magazine. The magazine production consisted of over five hundred issues. The articles described pruning techniques, history and potting strategy. Tree shaping also became very popular for nature hobbyists, after the first year’s publication.

At the end of the 19th century travelers and soldiers to and from Japan took notice of the bonsai, and began purchasing them from small Japanese shops. Exhibitions broke out through London and Paris, presenting the pruned, potted bonsai, as art. The Paris World Exhibition gave the public more of an understanding of these tiny mysteries, raising the purchase demand. The people of Japan capitalized on the highly requested piece of nature, trading them for goods and money. Tree nurseries were formed just to grow and house bonsai trees. By the 1970’s, there were over six hundred bonsai farmers, with over two hundred species of bonsai being sold.

Today the bonsai has reached a significantly diverse audience of: artists, hobbyists, naturists, tree farmers and historians. The tiny trees are sold nationwide, via internet, phone and mail. The cultural background of this tree is now meshed with the pop culture of today. Families have bonsai trees growing in their home offices, while greenhouse owners tend to their outdoor species. The bonsai: a tradition of ages continues to grow popular around the globe.

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

Planting Cherry Trees

Planting cherry trees for their fruit or for their blossoms can be rewarding. The cherry tree comes in many colors, sizes and varieties. This is due to it having been cultivated for thousands of years, especially in regions like Japan.

The cherry tree’s blooming season is short, unfortunately. For Japanese cultures, the cherry tree and its blossoming patterns symbolizes the way of human life where rising, blossoming and falling are a part of the whole. In Japan it is called mono no aware and means an awareness mujo or the transience of things and a bittersweet sadness at their passing. For this reason, cherry blossoms are utilized quite often in Japanese art, film and for ambient effect.
The cherry blossom is also considered a good omen. For some it is a symbol of love and affection.

Choosing the type of cherry trees you want to plant may be the most difficult part of growing this beautiful specie. For flowering or ornamental trees, varieties that are popular for their beauty and resistance to disease include Okame, Kwanzan, Autumn and Yoshino. These varieties produce flowers that range from white to pink and have a very distinctive foliage. The Autumn cherry tree blooms twice a year, both in spring and autumn, making it a very popular species.

In regards to fruit-producing trees, these can be divided into two divisions – sweet cherries, also referred to as wild cherries, and sour cherries.

When planting cherry trees, one must plant more than one for cross-pollination purposes. While there are some varieties out there that are self-pollinating, to be sure, you may want to place a couple of trees in the ground.

Choosing the right variety and size of cherry tree will depend on the space you have available and your preferences. Cherry trees can range in size from 6 feet all the way up to 30 feet in height. There is also a variety of cherry that comes in a shrub, such as the Red Nanking.

If you are planning to grow cherries, you will need to be in a hardiness zone of between 4-9, more preferably a 5-9. Some bush cherries can survive the cold weather of a zone 3.

Cherry trees also prefer a soil that is well drained and has a pH balance of 6.0 to 6.8. As with many trees, they need good air circulation and shouldn’t be exposed to long-term frost. The good news about cherry trees is that they aren’t terribly high-maintenance in the mulching and fertilizing department, the less the better. One annual sprinkling of blood and bone or old poultry manure will do.

Cherry trees also need to be pruned regularly as they are fast growing. If you want to pick your cherries without ladders, then pruning them or heading then at 30-40 inches above the ground is ideal. If your tree is meant for flowering only and for practical reasons you need to get under the tree to mow, you can head these trees higher.

Cherry trees are typically trained to an open-center system – this is why it is important to retain the central leader. Trees are usually reduced to four well-spaced shoots. Developing a strong framework of branches will help the tree bear heavy crops without breaking the limbs.

To see cherry trees at their best, one can attend various annual Cherry Blossom Festivals around the United States. More popular festivals include; the International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, Georgia, featuring over 300,000 cherry trees; Branch Brook Park Cherry Blossom Festival in April in Newark, New Jersey; The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C.; and the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia.

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

Popular Indoor Trees

Indoor trees can fill an empty space in a room, and bring a feeling of the outdoors into your home. There are several reasons why individuals and families choose to plant and care for indoor trees. Bringing a tree indoors does not necessarily require a tree growing in the middle of your living room. If you have a greenhouse or atrium, there are many additional options for indoor tree life. In these types of indoor spaces, natural light, humidity, temperature and water maintenance can all be controlled.

Indoor trees can also vary in size and maintenance level. Small trees such as the bonsai can rest upon a countertop or desk. The ficus or palm will require much more height for growing upright.

Ficus Trees – This classic indoor tree has several varieties. The fiddle leaf fig and the weeping fig are amongst the most popular. This tree is low maintenance after it has adjusted to its new indoor environment. Do not be discouraged if this tree loses leaves for a few days after being potted and placed indoors. The species is known for losing leaves after environmental changes occur.

The ficus can be placed in any sunny area, but will require consistent watering. If a ficus begins to lose leaves after its adjustment period, the roots may be too large for the potting system. It would be a good idea to re-pot the tree, so that its roots may expand and grow. When a ficus is properly cared for, it can produce beautiful leaf canopies that may live as long as twenty years.

Citrus Trees – Citrus trees, such as lemon, lime or kumquat, will require much more direct sunlight than other indoor trees. If these trees receive up to four hours of direct sunlight each day, they will produce wonderful fruits and flowers that can bring a blossoming smell into any room. Keeping a citrus tree in a greenhouse or sunroom will allow them to grow outward as well as upward. An avocado tree will also produce a fruit, which is wonderful for plucking before a festive dinner party.

Citrus trees grow better in a humid environment. Humidity can be obtained simply by placing a bowl full of water, or decoratively, a rock filled bowl of water in the room where the fruit tree is growing. This will produce a healthier set of blossoms, as well as fruit supply.

Bonsai Trees – There are several different varieties of the bonsai tree. Bonsai require regular trimming and a very specific water schedule. The Chinese Elm and the Zelcova are the two types of bonsai tree easiest to obtain from tree suppliers. These tiny trees fit on most any shelf, but will require sunlight, as would any other living plant. Some bonsai do not adapt well to extremely cold temperatures, so it may be best to check which bonsai would grow better in your home climate zone.

Palm Trees – The indoor palm tree can add a tropical feeling to any home. This type of tree also provides moisture to any household, and an exemplary amount of oxygen. Palms have proven to be the easiest indoor tree species in which to care for. Although they will require a healthy, well-draining soil and much water, the visual pay-off is worth the efforts.

Indoor trees tend to quickly become part of a home, and can create a healthier indoor environment. If your outdoor property is limited, but your green thumb is anxious, indoor trees may be the perfect solution.

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

Desert Trees

There are several considerations when caring for, and choosing a tree for a desert landscape.  The weather alone will not only play a role in this decision process.  Factors such as water, soil and wildlife will also become variables when deciding which desert tree is the right fit for your property.

Wildlife – If you are attempting to attract wildlife, such as lizards, rabbits, and/or other small creatures, it is pertinent to choose a variety of shade trees for your desert property.  Any creature will be attracted to the shade, especially when the sun is at its hottest temperatures of the day.  Birds such as:  pigeons, hawks and crows will prefer palms or willows, with larger leaf capacity.  While grounded animals will prefer trees such as pines, which will provide numerous branches with small hiding places.

Shade – It is not only the desert animals that will benefit from tree shade.  When choosing a desert tree for your property, shade value, and correct placement of that shade value, will be important.  If a large shade tree is hundreds of feet from your home, it may not be as beneficial with respects to the sun.  Although, if you are looking to shade a picnic area or workshop on your land, placement of the tree should respectively be considered.  When purchasing a tree, be sure to ask how much potential shade the tree will project at full maturity.  This shade can greatly cut down on your electrical costs, as well as the sun-wear on your home.

Water – Water is often scarcely available or of higher cost in open desert areas.  If you are trying to conserve water, it is best to check the prepared water schedule of your new desert tree choice.  Some trees require a more tedious watering schedule then as compared to others.  Before choosing a tree, ask which trees will require more or less water maintenance.  From here, you can then estimate the time and cost to water, within your means.

Planting – It is often best to plant desert trees in the fall season.  This will give your new desert tree time to acclimate to the hot weather, before the heat of summer reappears.  In winter, the roots will also have time to develop during a cooler temperature, with moist, vitamin-condensed soils.

When digging the hole for your new tree, you will hit a hard substance, just a few inches below the earth’s surface.  This substance is referred to as desert caliche.  Caliche is the Spanish term for calcium carbonate.  Be sure to break this substance up and/or remove it completely from your hole.  In doing so, water will be able to drain properly through the dirt and subsoils.  The roots of your tree will also have the ability to develop properly.

Desert trees carry very different needs and requirements as far as their overall care.  Although, the beauty and growing capacity of your tree will remain, regardless of the terrain.  When purchasing a desert tree, it is always beneficial to ask questions of your tree salesperson or care specialist.

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

Services That Arborists Can Provide

By definition, an arborist is a trained specialist who plants and cares for trees.  Arborists must continue their education to keep existing certifications, as well as update their knowledge bank on what is up and coming regarding the art and science of trees.  Such an individual can assist in the management of your tree appearance and health, as well as the proper selection of tree species for your property.  A weak or unhealthy tree can become a liability.  Additionally, choosing the wrong species of tree for your property can also become a liability.  In considering the time and cost of planting and caring for a tree, an arborist is a handy option.

There is much to know when caring for a new tree.  Arborists are trained in placing a tree in the healthiest position on your property.  A crowding of trees can cause harm to the new tree, as well as other trees surrounding it.  Watering and feeding a new tree is also an art.  If you have the means to hire an arborist, a watering and feeding schedule can be arranged for your assorted trees.

Arborists are additionally skilled in the overall maintenance of trees.  An arborist’s work includes:  the removal of dead or weakening limbs, elimination of limbs that interfere with your gutters or roof, as well as the elimination of branches that can obstruct public walkways or streets.  Arborists can also create bracing for weak branches, spray trees for insect control and fertilize.

As well as maintaining trees, an arborist can be called upon for emergency tree care.  Heavy storms that include rain, wind and lightning, can be detrimental to your trees.  Often times, the weight of the tree segments can be too awkward or heavy to move.  Arborists are trained in removal of large or broken limbs within a safe parameter.

Circumstances can arise when a tree must be removed.  Although, this is often a last resort, it is quite necessary for the health and growing efficiency of its surrounding trees.  Removal of your tree is recommended when the tree:

•    is dead

•    becomes hazardous or creates obstructions that cannot be corrected

•    is to be replaced with another tree

If you choose to hire an arborist:

•    check for professional memberships to organizations such as the:  International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA), or the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA).  If an individual shows you their memberships information, be sure the date of membership is still valid.

•    check for an ISA certification.  Certified arborists are professionals that have passed examinations that cover all aspects of tree care.

•    ask for references, to find out where the individual has previously worked.  Do not feel awkward calling the references.  Remember, tree care is a long-lasting investment!

•    get more than one estimate before hiring an arborist.  Also, do not feel the lowest bid is always the best deal.  Arborists are experienced professionals that should know to include additional materials and permit fees in their bids.

•    do not be afraid to ask questions!  Arborists are more than often excited for the work they perform.  A good arborist will appreciate your questions and be excited to answer them for you.

Choosing to have an arborist plant or care for your trees is your option.  Some individuals choose to take the task on themselves, working their green thumb.  Being educated about your choices is always in your favor!

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