S & S Tree | News and Tips

3 Reasons Why S&S Tree is the Right Tree Care Company for Your Twin Cities, MN Home

December 19th, 2017 · No Comments

Choosing a tree care company is an important decision. In choosing one, you’re deciding who will help care for the living organisms surrounding your Twin Cities, MN home.

It’s important to consider trees for what they are. They aren’t just window dressing for a home. They’re living organisms in need of the same type of care we need. Trees get sick, they need checkups, their health concerns fluctuate depending on the season, and without proper care, they can die.

Since choosing a tree care company is a huge decision, we wanted to share some reasons why we’re the tree care company you should choose.

  1. Education – Are you interested tree pruning for trees of different ages, techniques to fix stem girdling roots, or insights on the proper time to perform a myriad of tree care tasks? You don’t even have to speak to one of our ISA Certified Arborists to have some of your questions answered. You can simply check our archives. We’ve poured time into creating hundreds of posts about tree care because education matters. We put our team of ISA Certified Arborists through constant evolving education and we want you as the tree owner to know as much as possible too. Why? Because we want to help you make informed decisions. We’re more interested in helping than selling alone.
  2. A variety of services – Some companies are strictly tree removal companies. Others perform tree pruning only. Many don’t offer the robust and vast variety of services like S&S Tree does. From tub grinding, municipal tree care, tree planting, tree removal, tree disease control, and more, there is no tree-related task we can’t handle.
  3. Network and support – As part of the Davey Tree Company, we have access to a wealth of knowledge and resources that helps S&S Tree thrive as a franchise. We’re able to tap into not only the top arborists’ minds, but the customer service expertise of a company with a longstanding reputation for quality.

As we’ve said before, tree care should be a year-round endeavor. Have questions about how we can help? Please give us a call at (651) 451-8907.

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Gardening Tips for Late Fall in the Twin Cities, MN: How to Prepare Flower Beds for Winter

December 11th, 2017 · No Comments

The changing of the seasonal guard is soon upon us. In a few short weeks, you’ll be at home or at a family member’s residence enjoying Thanksgiving dinner, perhaps with a view of a white winter wonderland outside.

At S&S Tree, we believe tree care and landscaping is relevant year-round. Recently, we’ve written multiple posts detailing ways to keep your trees and landscaping healthy throughout the season and into spring.

Today, we’re going to apply that thinking to an important yet not mentioned as often area at your Twin Cities, MN, Home—your flower beds.

 With a combination of planting flowers that thrive in winter and prepping your flower beds for spring, you can enjoy a beautiful garden all year long.

Here are some quick gardening tips you can use before winter arrives.

  1. Get rid of any annual flowers “past their prime” – This will help clear way for the new flowers you plant as well as simply getting rid of unsightly and unhealthy plants from your home.
  2. Water your perennials and rose bushes – In addition to watering, you can remove any excess dead materials like rose canes to allow for unencumbered growth and sustenance.
  3. Weed and add organic matter – To make sure your flower beds have enough nutrients, you can test the soil, checking to see if at least five percent organic matter remains. If the organic matter isn’t sufficient, add it. You can use leaf humus, moss, or compost. For in-depth information on soil testing and other gardening tips you can meet with one of our trained ISA certified arborists.
  4. Plant resilient flowers – Daffodils, crocus, and hyacinths all qualify as spring blooming bulbs you can plant even after the first frost in the Twin Cities, MN. In addition to spring-blooming bulbs, go ahead and plant some colorful additions that can thrive in winter such as ornamental kale, snapdragons, chrysanthemums, and winterberries. These flowers can thrive even in frigid conditions.

We hope these gardening tips give you an added incentive to continue caring for all things tree and landscaping related at your Twin Cities, MN, home. If you’d like to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, please contact us at (651) 451-8907.

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3 Reasons Why Tree Maintenance Matters Year-Round in the Twin Cities, MN

December 8th, 2017 · No Comments

If you’re reading this post a few things are probably true:

  • You care about the health and appearance of your trees
  • You’re proactive – here you are taking the time to learn more about how to increase the heath and improve the appearance of your trees
  • You have questions about your trees’ needs

You’ve come to the right place. S&S Tree and Horticultural Specialists has a team of ISA Certified Arborists® who genuinely have a passion for tree care. We also believe tree maintenance is a year-round strategy.

Common Tree Maintenance Misconceptions

When you look outside during winter time in the Twin Cities, MN, the phrase “tree maintenance” probably doesn’t come to mind. After all, everything appears, well, dead.

We’re soon approaching winter, which makes it seem like time to ramp down on all tasks tree and lawn related. You’re close to your last mow. Many leaves have fallen. Soon, it’ll be time to remove the phrase tree maintenance from your mind until spring starts, right?


Here are three reasons why tree maintenance matters year-round:

  1. Dormant season tree pruning – Dormant season, which occurs during winter, is the best time to prune your trees. As we’ve discussed at length many times, tree pruning is essential to maintaining or improving a tree’s structure, allowing it to grow unencumbered by deficiencies. The fact this service is best performed during winter makes tree maintenance a year-round venture.
  2. Preparation for winter– Even in late fall, there are still measures you can take to improve your trees’ health during winter, such as tree cabling and wrapping your trees to protect the bark from pests and rodents.
  3. Preparation for spring – Both aforementioned techniques plus others such as pesticides to prevent larvae from growing in spring, saving compost, or resolving issues like girdling roots before the ground freezes, can all have a positive impact come spring time.

Our point is this – tree maintenance comes with different needs for seasons. Just like you may deal with protecting your skin in the summer and battling colds in the winter, each season affects your trees’ health in different ways and needs to be monitored.

To learn more or to schedule a late fall tree consultation with one our ISA Certified Arborists, please contact us today at (651) 451-8907.

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How Tree Cabling Can Support Your Trees in the Twin Cities, MN

November 29th, 2017 · No Comments

The structure and strength of a tree branch matters. In a way, trees have a body, meaning weak parts of the body effect the entire tree. Our team of ISA Certified Arborists® can employ many different techniques to improve the structure of a tree for long-term growth and protect it from hazards and becoming a hazard itself.

Tree cabling is one of the techniques we use.

Tree Cabling Explained

Tree cabling involves installing flexible strands of steel to your tree. Due to the nature of the installation, only an ISA Certified Arborist should perform the installation. You may want tree cabling services due to a tree that’s gradually leaning. Tree cabling can also be used to assist your tree’s defenses against severe storms, ice, snow, etc.

Tree cabling is just one of many methods we can use. If you have questions regarding the service, one of our ISA Certified Arborists can visit your location to provide a tree risk assessment to come up with the best plan of action.

Tree cabling can protect your tree against adverse conditions and even extend its life. Don’t you think an assessment is worth the time if it can save your tree down the road?

Prepping Your Tree for Winter

 Along with tree cabling, there are numerous tree maintenance activities you can start to perform now to help your tree thrive this winter. As we all know, mother nature has a fickle mood and can give us the “cold shoulder” at any moment.

Tree pruning during dormant season is best. Dormant season is soon approaching, so consider tree pruning to keep your tree’s structure intact and avoid irregularities like codominant leaders.

If you have exposed tree roots – which will suffer more during winter – you can cover them using top soil.

These tips are just a few of many we share and implement here at S&S Tree and Horticultural Specialists. If you’re interested in any tree care services for your Twin Cities, MN, home, please contact us at (651) 451-8907 today.

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Lawn Health in the Twin Cities, MN – Discover the Magic Powers of Composting

November 22nd, 2017 · No Comments

Nature is intelligent. The organisms on our planet almost always serve a dual purpose.

Many substances we treat as an afterthought can be used for the greater good, as we recently discussed in our post referring to the tub grinding process.

Today, we’re going to discuss a technique you can use to take natures “leftovers” and use them to increase your lawn health. It’s called composting.

Composting 101

 Forests don’t need much man-made help to rejuvenate themselves. In fact, the lack of human intervention helps them thrive.

The leaves, twigs, and debris left in the woods gets recycled into useful nutrients for the soil, creating a self-sustaining system.

When it comes to the trees and lawns at your Twin Cities, MN home, you can recreate the cyclical nature of nature with composting.

You can create compost with both grass clippings and fallen leaves.

With grass clippings, you can create compost by simply leaving the grass clippings on your lawn after you mow. You get the benefit of not having to discard the clippings while your lawn receives nutrient-rich fertilizer.

You can take it a step further and create a compost pile in the corner of your yard. To do this, simply collect grass and store it one area while mixing it with other materials like leaves, branches, and even newspaper. Once the mixture decomposes, it can be used as fertilizer to boost your lawn health.

The same logic can be used for collecting leaves to add to your compost pile. You can shred the leaves with your mower, collect them, and store them along with your other materials. To increase the quality of the compost you can add organic materials like food – particularly banana peels – cotton seed meal, or manure. Monitor your compost and make sure it’s both moist yet not too decomposed. When it appears too dry, add water. When it seems to appear too decomposed and rotten, you can dry it with materials like sawdust.

To create quality compost, make sure to “turn” it. This can be done during fall with the pile laying outside, but can only be done in winter if the compost is stored in some climate controlled area.

Finished compost appears dark, dry, and earthy. It usually takes a few months to create this affect, so this technique would be applicable right now if you planned on storing it and using it during spring.

As we’ve discussed in posts referring to your lawn as an ecosystem, lawn health isn’t just important for your individual Twin Cities, MN home, but the world as a whole.

Do you have questions about lawn health? Are you interested in creating a plan for all season? Contact us at (651) 451-8907 to see how we can help.

→ No Comments Tags: Lawn Care · Tub Grinding ·

When Is the Right Time for Tree Removal at Your Twin Cities, MN, Home or Property?

November 15th, 2017 · No Comments

Tree removal is something you may not want to occur, but also may be necessary given the circumstances.

The question is—when is the right time for tree removal? It’s a great question given the logistics and investment involved.

Today we’ll answer the question and discuss both tree removal and tree care options.

First, let’s go over some of the telltale signs it may be time for tree removal:

  • You notice large amounts of fungi at the bottom of your tree – This can be a sign of tree decay. If you’re unsure as to if this constitutes the need for tree removal, schedule a tree consultation to learn the best plan of action.
  • Your tree appears hazardous – Sure, there’s an investment involved with tree removal, but it pales in comparison to the out of pocket dollars or insurance claim you’d have to make if the tree fell and damaged your home. First, you should decide whether you need tree pruning or tree removal. It could be the former. Again, a tree consultation with an ISA certified arborist makes sense in this scenario.
  • Your tree has Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) – Unfortunately, if your tree suffers an EAB situation, there isn’t much you can do to resolve the situation. Tree removal isn’t just necessary, but critical, as the disease can spread to other ash trees in the area. The tree also must be disposed of properly to avoid infesting other trees, which is why working with professionals is the only correct option.
  • Chipped and peeling bark at the base of the tree – This is another sign of decay and may be grounds for tree removal.

Like humans, trees have a life cycle.

You may be in a bit of an emotional state before, during, or after tree removal. After all, your tree has probably been a part of your life for quite some time depending on how long you’ve lived at your Twin Cities, MN, home.
If you do end up having to remove your tree, remember these thoughts:

  • The wood can be recycled and put to good use with services like tub grinding. Your tree removal can still benefit the environment.
  • You can plant a new tree! If you schedule a tree consultation, we can discuss plans to bring new life to your Twin Cities, MN home.
  • If tree removal was necessary, it was for the benefit of your home’s ecosystem.

If you have questions about tree removal or want to schedule an appointment please contact us at (651) 451-8907.

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Lawn Care in the Twin Cities, MN: 3 Common Questions Answered

November 1st, 2017 · No Comments

Each season has specific measures you should take when the season begins and when it’s nearing its end.

Winter is around the corner. Leaves are falling, trees will be in the dormant season before you know it, and soon will come the time to put your lawn mower away for good.

Today we’ll share a few facts about your lawn and offer some last-minute tips as winter approaches.

Why Late Fall Lawn Care Matters

The last few times you mow your lawn will provide immense benefits, so don’t stop mowing until the weather dictates the need to stop. Failing to do so can result in the development of moldy fungus, which is something you don’t want beneath the surface during winter.

The combination of fertilization and a few pre-winter cuts will avoid the issue while providing your lawn the nutrients it needs.

You may have a few questions about lawn care such as:

  • When does grass stop growing? – There isn’t a specific cutoff date, per se, but when the weather falls below 50 degrees consistently is ideal. This can happen in November or December depending on the uncontrollable variables that come with Twin Cities, MN weather!
  • When should you stop mowing? – Find reports on the potential first frost of the season. After finding the date, backtrack a few weeks and plan to mow at least twice but up to three times, making sure to reduce the cutting height each time.
  • What is the best height for my lawn? – You want your lawn to stay in the two to three-inch range, making sure to keep it at that even level to avoid moldy fungus or a lawn that can’t withstand winter due to low grass height.

Looking Forward

The weather in the Twin Cities, MN will soon change. Does that mean your tree and landscaping care duties are over with?

Of course not. Tree care and landscaping are year-round tasks. With the dormant season approaching, there are several preemptive techniques to take, which we’ll continue to cover, as well as techniques like tree pruning that can be done during the dormant season.

To learn more about lawn care or tree care preparation for the winter season, give us a call at (651) 451-8907.

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Tub Grinding Services in Twin Cities, MN: Discard Your Wood and Help the Planet at the Same Time

October 31st, 2017 · No Comments

It’s important to recycle your materials as often as possible. The world is currently experiencing a waste problem that may cause irrevocable problems for our planet.

We often think of recycling in terms of personal materials like plastic bottles, but there’s also a way for the overseers of large projects to provide a contribution to our planet.

How, you ask? Tub grinding services.

Wood is a recyclable material that has many applications, which we’ll discuss today.

If you own or plan to work with a logging company for a project, consider tub grinding services to reuse a valuable natural resource.

Owners of large commercial properties with surrounding trees can use a combination of tree pruning for the health of their trees and tub grinding to reuse the discarded branches.

Whether due to overgrowth or infestation, tree removal may be necessary, but that doesn’t mean the tree must go to waste. Tub grinding provides yet another alternative method to simply discarding the wood.

Essentially, any situation involving discarded wood can turn into an opportunity to help the environment.

How Tub Grinding Services Contribute to Environmental Health

 If you’ve been following our posts for a while, you know how often we tout the benefits of mulch. Mulch provides needed nutrients to the soil and root systems that keep our trees healthy.

Tub grinding services turns wood into mulch and other usable materials. We tend to perform tub grinding with large amounts of wood, which provides the opportunity to make a major impact in ways such as:

  • Providing mulch for an entire municipal property – The mulch we create through tub grinding can be reapplied to your own property. Talk about an efficient use of resources!
  • Biomass fuel – Did you know recycled wood can be used as a fuel source? According to the Biomass Power Association, 50% of all renewable energy comes from biomass, of which recycled wood is a subset. In short, the wood waste is burned and the process emits usable energy.
  • Wood chips for playgrounds – Your discarded wood can help benefit our most precious members of society, helping them stay healthy through activity

At S&S tree, we aim to move the conversation about environmental health forward. With our team of trained professionals and educational resources to help you, we hope you utilize our services to not only improve your Twin Cities, MN, property, but the planet as a whole.

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

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Why Twin Cities, MN Residents Must Treat Their Lawn as an Ecosystem

October 25th, 2017 · No Comments

Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect?

The theory states that something as simple as a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a chain reaction leading to a natural disaster like a tornado. That seems a bit silly, doesn’t it? When you think about it, however, you realize that it’s not only plausible, but it makes sense when you consider the moving parts that make up our world.

We’re all part of an ecosystem. Human beings, animals, chemicals, elements of nature, and their interactions create infinite amounts of chain reactions simply because there are so many variables involved.

If you’ve been following the news, you’ve seen the increase in coverage on climate change, and some are speculating that current natural disasters may be linked to climate change.

Why are we talking about butterfly wings, tornados, and climate change? We want you to think about your role on the planet and how you can make a positive contribution.

A great start is thinking of your lawn as an ecosystem, and not just a square formation of grass in front of and behind your home.

Lawn Ecosystems: How to Become a Steward of Your Planet

 Hopefully you’re beginning to look at your lawn in terms of its impact on the environment instead of just its appeal, and you may be wondering how you can treat your turf as an ecosystem.

Here are a few tips: 

  • Use caution with herbicides – According to an article from the New York Times, the widely used weed killer, Roundup, is under scrutiny as research has found its active ingredient, glyphosate, may be linked to Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The debate is not yet settled, and we don’t want to jump to conclusions, but this highlights the underlying reasons why it’s important to use the right treatments for your lawn. Using potentially harmful herbicides to create a healthy-looking lawn may not result in having a truly healthy ecosystem. It’s important to be judicious with herbicide use by choosing the right product and applying it only when necessary.
  • Be proactive – The best defense against the ailments that negatively impact a lawn ecosystem is to be proactive in creating a lush, healthy, and nutrient-dense lawn. How do you achieve this? A lawn care program including aeration, fertilizing, seeding, and routine mowing. If you dig through our archives, you’ll find resources to do all the above. Even better, you can work with S&S Tree to create a lawn care program specifically tailored for your Twin Cities, MN home. As winter approaches, you may want to consider taking some last-minute measures before winter arrives.
  • Consult with a professional – The President of the United States has advisors. World class athletes have coaches. Psychologists may see therapists of their own. What does this mean? No matter how much experience you have on your own, a second pair of eyes from a reputable professional can make all the difference. We sincerely feel you can take the health of your lawn and the urban ecosystem that thrives within to the next level by working with us.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact S&S Tree and Horticultural Specialists today at (651) 451-8907.

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Tree Care Advice in the Twin Cities, MN – 3 Quick Tips for Your Trees

October 10th, 2017 · No Comments

When it comes to tree care advice, there’s plenty to give. After all, the trees at your Twin Cities, MN home can have as many complex issues as a human body does.

If you read through our archives, you’ll find various pieces of tree care advice to help boost the curb appeal and health of your trees. Today, we’ll share a few more in the hopes it answers burning questions you might have.

Tip # 1 – Stop Tree Roots From Sprouting in Your Lawn

 Nobody wants unsightly tree roots sprouting from their lawn. Sprouting tree roots can also be a sign of a larger health problem. With ash trees, they can be a warning sign of an emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation. In other cases, they’re simply a reaction to either damage or stunted growth, and the tree is simply overcorrecting for these deficiencies.

How do you fix sprouting tree roots? Effective pruning reduces shoots and sprouting tree roots while helping prevent their accelerated growth in the future.

If you do it yourself, make sure to cut at the base as deep as you can. You can usually do it yourself if the sprouting hasn’t gotten out of control. If it has, you should consider working with an ISA Certified Arborist® to handle the task.

Tip # 2 – Fix Yellowing and Brown Leaves

 Yellowing or brown leaves are likely a sign of nutrient deficiency. To get to the root of the problem, you must look to the environment surrounding the roots of your trees.

Dehydrated soil causes leaf discoloration. You can test the soil moisture by using an object to dig into the ground, such as a screwdriver. If you find it difficult to push in, you may be looking at a moisture issue.

As you might suspect, deep watering around the base of the tree can help revitalize it.

Pest infestation or diseases such as chlorosis can be the case. In the event of either one, soil testing and inspection from a certified arborist is your best bet for treatment.

Tip # 3- Identify the Risks of a Leaning Tree

 If you have a tree that’s leaning, you’re likely wondering if it’s a safety risk. Depending on the reason for the leaning, different routes of action can be necessary.

In the case of a tree developing a lean over time, this is perfectly natural. Trees conform to their environment. A tree’s proximity to other trees and its exposure to sunlight are both factors that could influence the direction of its growth. In this case, continue to keep an eye on it to watch for further learning, and you can always schedule a tree consultation to receive tree care advice.

In the case of a leaning tree due to a storm or severe weather, you want to work with an ISA Certified Arborist for tree care advice including a risk assessment and action plan. Often, there can be underlying issues that could lead to further damage.

Trust S&S Tree for Tree Care Advice

 We’re the Twin Cities, MN tree enthusiasts and experts you can rely on. There’s no question we aren’t happy to answer, and no service we’re unwilling to provide.

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

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