Helping the Northwest one tree at a time

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Mighty tree leaning on structure requires two cranes to remove

When crews were called in to help with a hazardous tree removal in Welches last week, the tree was so large and in such a precarious position (bracing itself at an angle with the house as its support) that an emergency team strategy meeting was called to come up with a game plan for how to safely remove the tree.  With no other trees nearby to tie into, and with the risk that trying to remove the leaning tree in sections could cause a weight redistribution in the tree creating severe safety concerns for tree workers and nearby structures, the crew realized this task was risky.  After some deliberation and collaboration of the Northwest Tree team, it was decided that two cranes would be needed to accomplish this risky removal.  One crane would secure the tree while the second crane would hoist tree workers, giving them the ability to work around the tree but not IN the tree, creating lower risk and safer working conditions.  See time lapsed video of the amazing work performed by our talented tree crew members Neptali & Tom who are shown working from the bucket, as well as their support team on the ground.

Watch here


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We are now in ELM tree pruning season

American elm trees are fast growing, graceful and long living. They are also tolerant of poor growing condition and poor air quality. Because of this, they were once considered an ideal street tree.  In the past, you could drive down residential neighborhood and see rows of large, beautiful elm trees lining the streets. That is no longer the case in many American cities due to Dutch Elm Disease, one of the most devastating plant pathogens in the US and Europe. This disease has killed millions of elm trees despite all efforts to control it.

Dutch elm disease is spread from infected treed to healthy trees by fungal spores which are carried on the backs of bark beetles. Beetles overwinter in diseased trees and move to healthy trees to feed in spring and summer. The disease is also spread through root grafts, which form between trees growing in close proximity. There are an estimated 3,500 elm throughout Portland. Approximately 1,500 elm trees have already been killed since the late 70’s due to this disease.

On June 10, 1987, the Portland City Council passed an ordinance to try to control this destructive disease by requiring infected elms trees to be suitably removed. Contaminated wood and debris must be properly disposed of and stumps and roots must be ground to prevent the disease from spreading through the root graphs. In an effort to preserve healthy elm trees, most tree pruning activities may ONLY be preformed from October 16th-April 14th annually when bark beetles are less active. Tools used to prune elm trees must be sanitized before and after to prevent potential spread of this disease.

While there is no cure for infected elms, some preventative measures are available. Call us today to scheduled a no-cost consultation to assess the health and needs of your elm (or other) trees. Spring pruning deadline is 4/14. Call today!


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Wind Gusts + Saturated Soil = Tree Disasters


In the Portland-Metro area, occasional wind gusts are something we deal with at this time of year. Trees establish root systems in the top 24″ of soil which help them support their weight during occasional high winds or wind gusts. However, add heavy rains to the mix and the story can have a different ending. This is because soil saturated by heavy rain impacts soil compaction and soil structure. This change leaves trees less able to support their weight during high winds.

See video footage of the soil around the base of a tree which is heaving due to saturated soils and high winds.


Video here :

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Fungus (conk’s, mushrooms) on or around your tree signal a potential problem

Fall is the time of year when tree decay can be more easily spotted as certain fungal growths begin to appear.  If you notice fungal growths (conk’s, mushrooms) on or around your tree, this can be a sign of internal decay. Defects found near the lower stem of a tree between the ground and eye level are easiest to spot and may indicate a root or stem problem. Other signs of trunk or root decay are loose bark, cavities/hollow areas, cracks depression or swelling of the trunk or stem. Decay of a tree’s stem or roots may cause the tree to become weak and potentially hazardous.

Northwest Tree Specialists has 14 Certified Arborists on staff. If you have a tree with signs of a fungal growth on our around the main stem of the tree or other warning signs noted above, contact us for a no cost consultation to determine the health and stability of the tree. 503.645.2242