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Scruggs Tree Service Newsletter
May 20, 2016

Tree Tips, Notes and News


Tree Tips, Notes and News


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Thoughts About Planting

When planting new trees or shrubs, a little forethought should prevent many future problems.

OK. You’ve picked out that perfect tree or shrub. You’ve chosen the perfect spot in your landscape and you’re convinced the newly planted tree or shrub will look great – right there.

Well, it might - RIGHT NOW – it’s still small. But, remember trees mature to 20 or 30 times larger than they are now. Take a second look at that spot. What will that tree look like when it’s a mature, fully grown tree?

Hmmm. Still not convinced? Here’s a few more things to consider before making that final decision and the digging begins:

  • Bugs enjoy a tasty shrub and/or tree and will welcome the chance to move from the trees and shrubs right to the wooden structure of your house. Termites, Carpenter Ants, Sugar Ants are just some of these unwanted guests.
  • As this tree grows it will eventually begin to scrape against siding and windows, requiring premature replacement or repairs.
  • Tree limbs which overhang the roof make gutter cleaning and roof care much more difficult which in turn can cause drainage problems and wet basements.
  • Regular pruning of the tree might save some of these problems in the near future, but pruning a tree too frequently just to “make it fit” is harmful to the tree.
  • Squirrels use the too close limbs to scamper over your roof which can lead to more damage and more unwanted house guests.
  • Trees growing too close to a foundation impact your home with intense pressure on the foundation. This can cause basement walls to bow and weaken.
  • Some tree roots can even grow under the foundation causing uneven foundation settlement, resulting in cracks in the structure and doors and windows to stick.

All of these problems create costly maintenance issues, along with the cost of finally removing the problem tree. Plan accordingly. Choose a proper planting site for the specific tree or shrub, keeping in mind their mature size.

Rule of Thumb: Plant the right tree in the right place and it will be an asset to your property.


Ever wonder where the cork in your wine bottle comes from?

That’s right. From a tree. The Cork Oak.

Most of the cork forests are located in either Spain or Portugal. Approximately every 9 years, at its maturity, the cork bark is harvested. This harvesting does no harm to the tree, as the bark will regrow. In fact, cork production is said to be one of the most eco-friendly harvests.

Cork trees can have a long life span of 200 years. They are not expected to give a good harvest until at least 25 years of age. And premium cork comes when you wait until the tree is closer to 40 years of age. Each tree will only be harvested every 9 years. The workers performing the harvest are skilled workers. This must be done with care to be done right. Skills and knowledge are passed down through families of the workers and they take great pride in their work.

First the bark is removed from the tree.

The harvested bark must be stored properly so that no contamination occurs.

The planks of bark are then boiled and cleaned in water that has also been cleaned and filtered and replenished regularly to avoid contamination. After boiling, flattening and drying the cork is now easier to work with.

None of the harvest is wasted. There are a variety of cork products, aside from wine corks.

After punching, the wine corks are then sorted to be sure only the best go into your bottle of wine.

Wine corks account for some 60% of the harvested cork, but many other everyday products are made from cork as well. Badminton Shuttlecocks, Baseball bat cores, insulation, wall panels. Cork is even used on the heat shields of spacecraft. And, of course, who hasn’t fastened a note or two on the family cork board.

Don’t Forget to Check Your Trees for Boring Insects

Tree boring insects include hundreds of species representing dozens of insect families.

Borers include any insect that feeds and grows inside the woody tissues of trees during at least one stage of their life cycle.

Some prefer dead trees, and a few will even attack healthy, vigorous specimens, but the vast majority of borers make their homes in trees that are diseased, damaged, or stressed in some way. For this reason, borer infestation is often considered a secondary health problem. Any tree that shows signs of stress (limb dieback or early fall foliage) can be considered at high risk for borer damage.

A general understanding of the similarities and differences within the group can go a long way toward saving trees in your landscape.

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See you soon. Have a great season.

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