S & S Tree | News and Tips

Insect Control Services in the Twin Cities, MN – 3 Pests to Watch Out For

June 21st, 2017 · No Comments

It’s finally the time of year for your trees to bloom and show off their lush appearance. But what if they’re not looking in tip-top shape?

If you’re noticing any irregularities with your trees’ appearance, it may mean you’re in need of insect control services.

The growing season isn’t just the growing season for trees. The change in weather gives rise to all of the dormant insect species whose population explodes in parallel to the growth of foliage.

If you spot signs of insect infestation early, plans can be made to correct the situation.

Today we’re going to look at a few different types of insects, signs of their presence, and remedies to deal with them.


You can think of aphids as “lice” for a tree. These tiny bugs dine on the leaves and stems of your tree, which can negatively affect nutrient absorption and decrease their ability to benefit from sunlight.

If you notice curling of leaves, twig dieback, or a sugary-like substance (honeydew), your tree may be at risk.

The remedy to rid your trees of aphids involves using an appropriate blend of horticultural soap or insecticide, which is best applied by an ISA Certified Arborist.


 Your leaves should look full and luscious in late spring to early summer, if you notice a number of holes in your leaves, they could be affected by cankerworms.

Cankerworms leave these holes by eating the leaves of your trees. Having holes in your leaves certainly reduce the aesthetic appeal of your trees, but it’s also a health issue that needs to be addressed. The last thing you want is leaf loss during a period where your tree is supposed to be growing.

The best method for dealing with cankerworms is getting ahead of the problem before it starts. In fall, you can use techniques such as tree banding to mitigate the damage.

Cankerworms can be dealt with during spring, however, with the proper application of insecticide, which again yields best results when done by a professional.

Japanese Beetles

Japanese Beetles take their feeding habits to another level. The aforementioned insects may leave your leafs (no pun intended) looking a bit lackluster or even damaged.

Japanese Beetles, however, can feed to the point where nothing is left of your tree’s leaves but their skeletons. Obviously, this is something you’d like to prevent. No need to worry, S&S Tree has considerable experience dealing with Japanese Beetles in the Twin Cities, MN area. If you notice your tree beginning to look like it’s skeletonizing, please contact us immediately.

 Use Insect Control Services to Protect Your Trees During Growing Season

 When it comes to insect control, putting your trust in the hands of insect control experts makes the most sense. The application of insecticides needs to be done carefully. When your tree is in need of care during duress, the carefully trained eye of an ISA Certified Arborist is just what it needs.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please contact us at (651) 451-8907.

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Tree Fertilization Tips for Twin Cities, MN, Homeowners

June 16th, 2017 · No Comments

The season is in full swing. Winter in the Twin Cities, MN, has (finally) become a distant memory, and now is the time to make your tree and lawn care efforts count.

As always, we love providing tips and specifics to help you boost your curb appeal, maintain or improve the health of your trees, and help them in times of need such as dealing with pest or disease.

Today is no different. In this weekly dose of tree care advice, we’re going to focus on tree fertilization tips.

Why Tree Fertilization is Important

 Mother Nature is the best nurturer of our environment. Generally, many areas don’t need human intervention to thrive. Forests, for example, provide plenty of nutrients to help trees grow healthy because of the lack of human intervention.

The debris, branches, and falling bark in the forest act as a recyclable material that trees can use to get the nutrients they need. But in places such as your Twin Cities, MN home, you might need to go the extra mile to ensure your tree gets fed what it needs to not only survive but to also thrive.

Now that you know the why behind us giving these tree fertilization tips, let’s discuss signs your tree needs a boost.

Signs Tree Fertilization is Necessary

 Our best tree fertilization tip is to act when you’re on the fence. The sooner tree fertilization occurs, the better.

But if you’re looking for some clear-cut signs your tree needs some extra love, here they are:

  • Undersized twigs – If you’re noticing the growth rate of your tree’s twigs has diminished over time, they may be lacking necessary nutrients.
  • Undersized leaves – This follows the same logic as the point above.
  • Dead branches and branch tips – If you notice these, you might consider some light tree pruning and tree fertilization.

We’ve covered the why and what, now let’s get to the how.

Tree Fertilization Tips

 There’s never a bad time to fertilize your tree. If you use the right kind of fertilizer, it’ll be released in a way that benefits your tree in the long term.

You want to use a slow-release fertilizer for two reasons:

First, it simply benefits the tree over an extended period of time. You wouldn’t take a month’s worth of vitamins in one day and expect to instantly get healthier, right? You’d wait until your body gets accustomed to them after the long term. The same line of thinking works with fertilizer.

Second, an active ingredient in most fertilizers is nitrogen. When used properly, it benefits your tree. When overused, it can do damage due to fertilizer burn.

If you’re looking to do it yourself, make sure to follow the guidelines above, but why not rely on the help of a professional to make sure the job gets done right?

Let’s get back to our human health analogy. Are you perfectly capable of keeping yourself healthy with the right vitamin regimen and healthy eating habits? Of course you are!

But imagine the results you’d get when working with a nutrient that knows exactly what your body needs including how much of each nutrient it needs and the best way to administer those nutrients? Your health would likely go from good to great.

Likewise, professional tree care helps your trees’ health and curb appeal go from good to great.

If you’re on this page right now, it means you’re a smart, savvy, and conscientious Twin Cities, MN homeowner, because you’re actively searching for helpful information.

Perhaps the best tree fertilization tip—one that shows just how smart and savvy you are—is to let S&S Tree give your tree exactly what it needs.

Give us a call at (651) 451-8907 to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.

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Disease Control in the Twin Cities, MN – Diseases to Look Out For & Benefits of Tree Consultations

June 12th, 2017 · No Comments

Are you noticing something off with your trees? Whether its browning leaves, odd shaped holes, stripped bark, or weak looking branches, it’s best to take the safe route and consult with a professional to see if disease control services are necessary.

Disease control services can help prevent a catastrophic situation before it spirals out of control. Today, we’re going to share some of the most rampant tree diseases we deal with and offer some reasons why you should consider a tree care consultation to decide a plan of action.

  • Emerald ash borer – We’ve covered the topic of EAB infestation multiple times before because it’s a serious disease that needs its awareness raised. Once EAB infestation takes place, the result is often the death of the tree within one to two years. If you own an ash tree, contact us immediately, because we can take preventative measures to protect your tree. If you notice any signs of EAB, such as D-shaped holes in the bark, contact us immediately to see what can be done
  • Oak wilt – Oak wilt poses a risk because of the way it spreads. It’s a fungal disease that affects the root system of oak trees. The problem worsens when the root systems of healthy oak trees contract oak wilt via contact with infected root systems. Oak wilt is also a disease we pay careful attention to because – like EAB – it can kill a tree if left unchecked. Oak wilt constricts the roots of oak trees, which causes them to not get enough water. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate damage done by oak wilt if caught early on
  • Dutch elm disease – Characterized by the yellowing or browning of leaves, Dutch elm disease is the result of a fungal infection caused by elm bark beetles. Fungicides can be used to deal with the disease, but the best remedy is prevention by isolating affected trees and keeping the disease from spreading

If you feel like your trees may need disease control services due to signs of one of the diseases listed above, please contact us as soon as possible.

While these three diseases are among the most rampant, there are many other types of ailments that can affect your tree.

Here are a few reasons to consider a consultation to determine whether disease control services are necessary:

  • Early detection – If you notice a theme with the diseases listed above, it’s that early detection and prevention are your best bets when it comes to proper tree care. Don’t wait until it’s too late to deal with the situation. Consult with us now to potentially stave off harm
  • Safety – Diseased trees can have weak branch systems, which can lead to an accident. For the safety of those around the tree, disease control services may be necessary
  • Is there an investment involved with disease control services? Of course, but it’ll also cost time and money to replace a compromised tree and plant a new one when the whole situation could’ve been avoided in the first place

If you’re at all concerned about the health of your tree in the Twin Cities, MN, please contact us at (651) 451-8907 to learn more about how we can help.

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4 Simple Landscaping Tips for Twin Cities, MN Homeowners

June 7th, 2017 · No Comments

We’re finally in the time of year where we can begin to talk about landscaping tips for Twin Cities, MN, homeowners.

You’ve probably already mowed your lawn a handful of times, and you’re looking to take your yard’s curb appeal to the next level. We’re here to help.

Today we’re going to talk about some landscaping tips and techniques you can either try on your own or rely on our professional expertise to accomplish.

Regardless of how you choose to proceed, we’re always available to answer your questions and help you learn more.

  1. Seed patches on your lawn – Imagine a picturesque, lush, glowing green lawn after being mowed with a precision pattern. That’s the type of curb appeal you want to have for your Twin Cities, MN, home. You can’t accomplish that effect with unsightly dirt patches on your lawn. Overseeding plus proper aeration can help your lawn grow thicker and cover up any bare areas. 
  1. Control weeds and crabgrass – If you don’t have a proper weed control plan in place, the situation can spiral out of control quickly. A combination of effective moving—to the 3-inch length and never removing more than 1/3 of the blade—and early removal of weeds can help keep them at bay. We provide weed control services as part of our landscaping packages if you need assistance. 
  1. Feed your lawn the right nutrients – Using the right types of organic mulch and safe to use fertilizer provides a blend of nutrients your turf needs to grow properly. Use caution, as some nitrogen heavy fertilizers can do more harm than good when over applied. We can provide soil-testing services to give your lawn the exact amount of nutrients it needs. A bonus landscaping tip for mulching; leave the grass clippings on your lawn as mulch instead of getting rid of them.
  1. Get professional help – The best landscaping tip of all is getting assistance from a professional on a regular basis. As a smart Twin Cities, MN, homeowner, we’re sure you’re already on top of your landscaping situation, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved with the knowledge and assistance of an expert.

When it comes to landscaping and tree care, a good portion of it can be done on your own. However, there are many different choices you can make that will affect the overall appeal and health of your trees and landscaping.

Do you go with mulch or rock to surround your tree bed? What are the pros and cons of each?

Is now the right time for a landscaping addition?

How do you know whether or not the hole you see on your tree is benign or a sign of emerald ash borer?

These are just a few of an almost endless list of questions that may be running through your head this spring. Get your questions answered and find out how S&S Tree can help.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact us at (651) -451-8907.

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Spring Tree Care in the Twin Cities, MN – Tips for Caring for Newly Planted Trees

May 23rd, 2017 · No Comments

We recently celebrated Arbor day. If you didn’t take advantage of the holiday by planting a new tree, there’s still time!

As far as spring tree care is concerned, the weather in the Twin Cities, MN, hasn’t gotten warm enough yet to pose a risk for tree planting, so plant one as soon as possible before the window closes.

If you have planted a tree recently, you need to know how to take care of it properly.

Just like a newborn child needs much more care than a middle school aged child, your newly planted tree will need extra nurturing in the beginning of its life.

Its root system hasn’t grown large enough and isn’t stabilized, and it needs to be cared for properly to avoid stress.

In today’s guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know. If you have any additional questions, you can always give us a call.


You’ll need to water your young tree more frequently than a mature tree.

Some helpful guidelines are:

  • Daily watering during the first 1-2 weeks after your tree has been planted
  • Watering every 2-3 days for the first 3-12 weeks afterwards
  • Weekly until your tree is considered established (which we’ll cover shortly)

When watering your young tree, you’ll want to water directly over the root ball while also making sure to keep the soil in the planting hole moist.

Root systems for your trees grow over time, so the area you must water will grow as well. Expect the root system to grow outward by eighteen inches during the first year.

As far as how much water you should apply, 1 gallon per stem caliper should suffice.

When Will Your Young Tree Establish Itself?

Dealing with establishing trees is trickier than establishment times of shrubs. With shrubs, they’ll predictably establish themselves within a year or two. For trees, however, establishment time is dependent upon tree size.

The larger the trunk size by caliper, the longer it will take to establish.

Our ISA Certified Arborists® can help you determine a proper plan of action for tree growth.

Boost Your Tree’s Growth with Mulching

 Mulching around the base of your tree helps it compete for nutrients and resources with its surrounding turf.

The benefits mulching provides are numerous including:

  • Decrease in water evaporation
  • Helps prevent runoff around plants
  • Mitigates stem damage from mowers
  • Protects roots from sun exposure
  • Increases soil health through pore creation and microbial activity

Combine a routine watering regimen with mulching as part of your spring tree care and watch your new tree flourish!

Spring tree care is important because the season is a small yet active bridge between a dormant winter and a sometimes-extreme summer.

If you’re a Twin Cities, MN, resident looking to use spring tree care to boost your curb appeal this year, S&S Tree and Horticultural Specialists can help.

We can provide a last-minute prune before it gets too hot, help provide the required fertilization, or check your trees for disease. The list goes on!

To learn more about our services, please contact us at (651) 451-8907.

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3 Benefits of Mulching for Twin Cities, MN Homeowners & Tips on How to do it

May 15th, 2017 · No Comments

As a Twin Cities, MN, homeowner, you must make decisions on how, when, and where you spend your time and money, and often, you’d rather not spend either if you don’t have to. Not because you don’t want to, but the pure amount of choices available simply leaves most would be decisions in the “no” column.

Today we want to talk about mulching, the benefits it provides your trees, and some reasons why it deserves the answer “yes” to the question you pose before deciding:

  • Growth – Mulching can rapidly increase the rate your tree grows. According to the United States Forest Service, mulching, if done properly, can essentially double the rate at which your tree grows. If you’re a Twin Cities, MN, homeowner with a new or young tree, this makes the decision a no-brainer
  • Weed Control – Is there anything more annoying in your tree and lawn care efforts than dealing with weeds? We’d wager the answer is no. Mulching helps combat weed growth, and applying organic mulch gives you the greatest advantage. If anything, consider mulching to reduce weed removal chores
  • Nutrients – Imagine a lush lawn with healthy trees. Now imagine a nutrient deficient lawn with trees in need of help. The nutrients your trees receive make a world of difference, not only their health, but their appearance. The mental comparison you made in your head was probably stark, right? That’s because you let your imagination paint a great picture. It’s harder to paint that picture by looking at your trees as they lose their appeal slowly over a long period of time, because you see them every day. You know who’ll notice the difference? People who pass by your home and notice the difference between your trees and landscaping versus your neighbors’ who’s been maintaining their property with mulching and other tree care techniques. Maybe the opinion of a passerby doesn’t matter, but we think it matters to you because you’re a smart and conscientious Twin Cities, MN, homeowner.

Tips for Mulching Trees 

Mulching is something you can do on your own. You can also work with our team of trained tree care experts to ensure the job is done right. Either way, we pride ourselves on providing useful information, regardless of the outcome.

Here are some tips on mulching around your tree:

  • Remove grass – You’ll want to remove the grass around your tree to make sure it receives as much nutrients as possible from the mulch. Use a shovel and dig around the base of the tree about 2 to 4 inches deep. Make sure not to force something if it isn’t budging as it may be an underlying root
  • Add mulch – You want to add mulch in the area you just dug. Make sure not to exceed 4 inches, because adding too much mulch can actually do more harm than good. You also want to keep the mulch five or six inches away from the tree to keep from attracting pests
  • Water – Make sure to water the base around your tree well, and you’re done

Tree Care in the Twin Cities, MN – Let Us Know How We Can Help

 Are you interested in learning more about tree care? Do you want to have some tree care performed but don’t know the next step? Feel free to visit our archives, or contact us today by giving us a call at (651) 451-8907 with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment with one of our ISA Certified Arborists®.

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Honor Earth Day and Arbor Day This Spring in the Twin Cities, MN

May 8th, 2017 · No Comments

Most people’s favorite holidays happen to be in late December and early January, but some of our favorite holidays happen in the month of April.

First, there’s Earth Day.

To work for S&S Tree and Horticultural Services, employees must complete rigorous training and testing, but perhaps the most important prerequisite for being a member of our staff is a love of the planet we live on.

Even if you never hire us for services such as tree care and landscaping, we encourage you to celebrate Earth Day by doing everything you can to help us take care of the planet that gives us life.

With Earth Day being celebrated recently, here are a few items to consider:

  • Lowering your carbon footprint – There are several ways to do this including riding your bike or taking a walk instead of driving a short distance, switching to a low emission vehicle, or taking steps to make your home more eco-friendly by using emergency efficient appliances.
  • Be vocal about climate change – Climate change discussion has gained momentum, but we’re still not quite where we need to be. It can’t be strictly up to scientists, journalists, and other experts to push the agenda forward. We can all be a part of the solution by being more conscious of the implications of climate change. According to Nasa.Gov, there is a lot of compelling evidence to support the increasing direness of climate change including rising amounts of record high-temperature events and the rapid decline of arctic sea ice.

In addition to Earth Day, there’s another important holiday we love to celebrate here at S&S Tree Arbor day!

Why not give a gift to yourself, the Earth, and your Twin Cities, MN, neighbors by planting a tree this year?

The benefits to planting a tree are almost endless, but here are a few:

  • Another source of oxygen added to the world – You know, that stuff we breathe to live.
  • Aesthetic appeal – Who doesn’t love to look at a beautiful tree?
  • Increased property value– Renovations to your home can happen inside and outside.
  • A sense of accomplishment – Maybe you’ve been meaning to plant a tree for years but keep forgetting. Make this year the year you finally follow through.

If you want to plant a tree but have concerns about which type of tree you should plant, the depth you should plant it with, or anything else related to tree-planting, you can work with one of our ISA Certified Arborists to make sure your tree is planted correctly and has the chance to grow tall, strong, and healthy for years to come.

Celebrate Arbor day by planting a tree with us this year. Simply give us a call at (651) 451-8907 to get started!

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Spring Tree Pruning in the Twin Cities, MN – Is it a Smart Idea?

May 3rd, 2017 · No Comments

If you’ve been reading our posts for some time now, you’d know that we recommend tree pruning during winter.

Winter is the best time for tree pruning because of the dormant state of the tree.

Pruning during this season causes the least amount of damage to the tree and gives it the best chance to grow properly during spring.

Tree pruning can be done year round, and spring tree pruning can be beneficial, as long as it’s done in the right circumstances.

When Spring Tree Pruning is a Smart Idea

We’re still in the early stages of spring, and if your tree hasn’t started growing yet, spring tree pruning can still work well because, technically, the tree is still dormant.

If your tree has begun growing and blooming, its best to check with a professional to decide whether or not spring tree pruning is ideal. You can schedule a consultation with one of our ISA Certified Arborists® to make sure.

Spring tree pruning can still be beneficial if it’s very minor (less than 10% of the trees branches) and performed for the right reasons.

If your tree has a noticeable amount of dead, diseased, or decayed branches, they can and should be removed with pruning. Also, if you’re looking to enhance your tree’s structure and visual appeal, light pruning can be in order.

Certain trees, such as Oak, Elm, Sycamore, and Honey locust trees, should never be pruned during spring. If you’re unsure about whether or not you can or should have spring tree pruning done, contact us to learn more.

Start Spring Right With Tree Care and Landscaping Services

 Spring tree pruning is just one of many services you can use to spruce up your Twin Cities, MN home this spring.

It’s the time of year where curb appeal matters, and we can help you add to it this season.

Maybe you’ve been considering a landscaping installation but haven’t gotten around to it.

Perhaps you’re interested in learning different ways to increase the health of your trees and landscaping this year, but haven’t made the time to meet with a professional.

Make this year the time you take action. You can schedule a consultation to get a detailed analysis of your trees and landscaping. After that, we’ll come up with the perfect plan to meet your needs.

To schedule an appointment, please contact us at (651) 451-8907.

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Tree Disease Control in the Twin Cities, MN – 4 Types of Fungal Diseases to Watch Out For

April 27th, 2017 · No Comments

You’ve heard the saying before:

“April showers bring May flowers.”

You’d think a month filled with rain would be good for your trees and landscaping. Rain provides nutrients for your grass and trees, which is necessary and vital, but the wet weather also attracts fungi that thrive under these conditions.

Fortunately, you can be proactive about combating these negative effects. Our tree disease control services will help protect your trees against the myriad of environmental factors that can cause your them harm.

Here are 4 common types of fungal disease to keep an eye on. If you notice these signs or symptoms, please contact us for a tree consultation to see how we can help.

  • Anthracnose – Symptoms of Anthracnose include brown or yellow blotches and browning near the vein of the leaves. This disease is common to Ash, Maple, Oak, and Sycamore trees. The disease spreads by way of fungus spreading through the vein systems in your tree’s leaves. If detected early enough, the damage can be mitigated and your tree can be cured.
  • Apple Scab – As the name indicates, this disease is unique to Apple trees. A variation of yellow, brown, and dark green spots on your tree indicate potential affliction with Apple Scab. Treatments can include applying fungicide to combat the fungus spreading or removing infected areas of the tree through proper pruning.
  • Oak Wilt – Oak Wilt is quite dangerous because it can cut off the water supply to your tree and leave it susceptible to severe damage or even death. If you notice wilting leaves or leaves falling off your oak tree, especially from the canopy, it’s likely that your tree has Oak Wilt. Oak Wilt must be dealt with early, as infection cannot be cured, only effectively managed.
  • Rhizosphaera Needle Cast – If you notice the needles on your spruce tree turning yellow and subsequently browning and falling off, your tree likely has issues with Needle Cast. Prolonged moist or wet weather gives way to this fungus spreading, and it can cause a great deal of harm if left untreated for long periods of time. Fungicide application and pruning can be used to deal with Needle Cast, and our ISA-certified arborists can create the proper strategy for your spruce tree.

Why Proactive Tree Disease Control Matters

The early stages of spring provide a great opportunity for you to not only help your trees grow healthily with different tree care techniques, but also for you to get a head start on protecting them. As a rule of thumb, the earlier tree disease control is employed, the better. Let us help the trees at your Twin Cities, MN, home thrive: give us a call at 651-451-8907 to learn more.

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Tree Damage in the Twin Cities, MN – How to Fix Your Tree With Severe Storm Damage

April 19th, 2017 · No Comments

You’ve heard the phrase “April showers bring May flowers” before, but along with rain, spring weather can turn hectic with thunder and lightning storms in the Twin Cities, MN.

Unfortunately, trees can become victims of these severe storms. Tree damage from storms can be dealt with, given you know the right strategies to correct the problem.

Even if you don’t have the know-how, you can work with our ISA Certified Arborists® who will be able to give you an exact answer and plan when you need it.

A Note on Preventing Tree Damage Before It Happens

 Tree damage can be inevitable in certain circumstance, but sometimes it can be avoided, given the tree had the proper structure and stability prior to the storm.

How can you help your tree hold up during turbulent times? You can prune your tree to make sure it grows properly. Tree pruning also helps remove weak branches, which are most susceptible during a storm.

How to Deal with Tree Damage After a Storm Hits

The most important step to take when dealing with tree damage is prioritizing safety. If the tree damage causes branches to hang over dangerous areas such as powerlines, the situation must be dealt with, and it should be dealt with by a professional.

There are also various signs of damage you should look for such as:

  • Damaged or broken branches
  • A tree with exposed root systems
  • Damage to the tree canopy
  • Severed or split tree branches
  • Leaning or completely toppled trees

What to Do Next

Often, it’s best to leave tree damage repair in the hands of a professional.

Here are some of the tasks our ISA Certified Arborists can use to fix your damaged tree:

  • Pruning – Light pruning can remove many of the split or damaged branches resulting from severe storms. Once the susceptible branches are removed, your tree will fare better with subsequent storms and have overall improved health and structure
  • Split repair – If the tree damage includes splits in branches or the trunk, each scenario must be handled differently. Sometimes the bark can be smoothed to aid the healing process, but massive splits will require something akin to stiches on a human, which can only be performed properly by a professional
  • Canopy repair – If parts of your tree canopy were damaged and now sit awkwardly in the tree, a certified arborist can remove the comprised parts of the canopy and repair its structure

These are just a few of the tasks our ISA Certified Arborists can perform to fix tree damage. They’ve been trained to deal with essentially every type of tree-related disaster.

We hope your trees don’t suffer from severe storm damage this spring, but if they do, please contact us at (651) 451-8907.

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