Truck & Chipper W Tree in background

Carpenter Costin Blog

Repairing Storm Damaged Arborvitaes

Heavy snow accumulation, like we saw this winter, is sure to damage arborvitaes of all ages - whether dumped by Mother Nature or a neighbor’s snow blower. Snow can threaten the health and appeal of your arborvitaes; therefore, you must take the proper measures to repair damaged arborvitaes.  It is important to repair your split or damaged arborvitaes early in the spring, to ensure proper growth during the growing season.

Depending on the size of your arborvitaes, some repairs may be made by home owners using household materials. For small arborvitaes that have split branches, it is appropriate to use wire inside a length of garden hose to tie together weak branches - just be sure there is a wide, soft surface against the tree’s bark to prevent damage. An old pair of nylons will work just as well, especially with young arborvitaes. There are also commercial tree tie products capable of serving the same purpose.

For larger arborvitaes, it is recommended that you consult a Certified Arborist for repairs. Large, storm-damaged arborvitaes require extensive cabling and bracing in order to ensure safety and tree health. A Certified Arborist can suggest tree cabling techniques aimed at developing a strong tree structure, which helps prevent future storm damage. To compliment the cabling, a Certified Arborist can also prune your arborvitaes to ensure proper sunlight and air flow, thus improving tree growth and health.

Storm damaged arborvitaes can be an eye-sore in your landscape. Cabling and pruning can not only increase the appeal of your landscape, but also improve the health of your trees and shrubs.

View Carpenter Costin’s cabling services and pruning services to learn more, or request a consultation with a Certified Arborist.

Tree Removal, Tree Removal Cost & Tree Service Tips

The Tree Removal Decision

The decision to take down a tree can be heart wrenching. After years of enjoying it’s shade, watching the leaveschange and admiring it’s beauty, the time will come when the tree must come down. Whatever the reason, when that time comes, a professional arborist should be contacted.

Tree removal is the most dangerous aspect of arboriculture and should be left to the experts. There are 3 ways to take down a tree if it cannot be reached from the ground. With each tree removal service you need to consider the tree removal cost and the certification of company preforming the tree service.

Crane - fast, efficient, expensive, and unnecessary? Today there is a trend towards removing trees with cranes. When a crane is used, a cable is attached to a large section of the tree. An arborist will then cut below the cable and, at times, half or even the entire tree can be taken down in one piece. It’s fast but very expensive.

Bucket truck- fast, efficient, and much less expensive than hiring a crane.

Climbing—used for trees that are in confined spaces near buildings that are inaccessible to equipment. Skilled climbers will ascend the tree and with the use of ropes, lowering devices and speed lines carefully cut the tree apart and lower the pieces to the ground.

Carpenter Costin’s professional certified arborists have the extensive training and experience to safely and successfully perform tree removals. Since we work year round, winter, with reduce activity and frozen ground, alls excellent equipment access for tree removal. We also offer a 10% winter discount on tree work done between December 1st and March 30th.

For more information on tree removals, please give us a call at (877) 308-8733 or through our website at

Heat Up Your Backyard with a Stone Fire Pit

Cozy Up to an Outdoor Fire Pit

Bring the warmth and fun of a campfire to your backyard with a stone fire pit. A Carpenter Costin fire pit is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also provides a safe place for your family and friends to gather and cook over an open fire in the comfort of your own yard.

We build all of our fire pits with underground drainage to avoid water accumulation when you douse fire for safety. This drainage also allows fire pit not to fill with water in winter so they remain durable and permanent and will add an exciting and beautiful feature to any property.

Give us a call and find out how you can heat up your backyard on chilly evenings with a cozy fire pit. 877.308.8733. or email us at

Tree and Shrub Pruning Guide

Protect Your Trees By Pruning Regularly

As the tree leaves drop and the gardening season winds down, smart folks know it’s time to perform pruning on their trees.

track-liftPruning improves the health and beauty of your plants by removing undesirable branches. Branches that should be pruned are:

  • Overhanging walkways, parking areas or buildings
  • Blocking lighting and utility lines
  • Leaning against buildings/your home
  • Interfering with other trees or branches
  • Heavily damaged by insects and or disease

Pruning these problem branches will make your tree less prone to storm damage, pests and diseases, and more structurally sound and safer.

Pruning may also include the shaping of your trees. This pruning procedure is used to shape and maintain the crown size and even reduce the size of your tree to keep it at a size that works best in your landscape. A healthy tree can be reduced in size by up to 1/3 without endangering its health. Pruning trees and shrubs is important and has many benefits for your property.

Class Pruning Definitions

IMG_7070 (3)

Class #1: Fine Pruning - Ornamental Trees

Removal of dead/dying branches and major crossing branches over 1/2" diameter. Includes crown thinning of undesirable growth to improve air flow and light penetration and shaping to enhance the intended form.

Class #2: Standard Pruning - Shade Trees

Removal of dead/dying branches and major crossing branches over 2" diameter. Includes crown thinning of undesirable growth to improve air flow and light penetration and removal of structurally defective limbs.

Class #3: Safety/Hazard Pruning - Shade Trees

Removal of dead/dying branches as well as removal of limbs over 3" diameter that are structurally defective and potentially dangerous.

Class #4: Crown Reduction - Shade Trees

Size reduction (drop crotch pruning) of the entire canopy to help reduce the risk of storm damage to long extending limbs and better restore the overall height/width of the tree. Also includes, removal of dead/dying branches as well as removal of limbs over 3" diameter that are structurally defective and potentially dangerous.

Have a Professional Handle Your Tree Pruning

All pruning should be done by someone with the training and skills of a certified arborist. A trained arborist has the knowledge of tree physiology, proper pruning procedures and can take care of your trees without endangering their health. Improper pruning can weaken your tree and make it more susceptible to insect infestation, disease and structural failure.

After careful examination and evaluation, a certified arborist will advise you what would best serve your trees’ needs. In addition to pruning, they may suggest that support cables be added to improve weak branch unions. Tree cabling is commonly needed in large, older trees.

Don’t wait until winter winds have damaged your trees. Call now to arrange a complimentary evaluation and assessment at (877) 308-8733 or click the button below.

Request a Free Estimate

Time to Lime Your Lawn

The best time to apply lime is in the fall, as it breaks down slowly and is absorbed very slowly.

Most homeowners understand that applications of lime to the home lawn are necessary to maintain a high quality lawn. Few individuals, however, have a complete understanding of why lime is applied, how to determine if liming is needed and how to apply lime to the lawn. Also, most homeowners are not aware of the potential negatives of creating a pH too high by excessive application of lime.

Lime is applied to the lawn’s soil to increase its pH level. Soil pH, a measure of the soil's acidity or alkalinity, governs the availability of many soil nutrients and can directly influence the vigor and quality of the home lawn. When the pH is below 7, the soil is said to be acidic; when above 7, it is alkaline. For turfgrasses used in local lawns, a soil pH between 6 and 7 (slightly acidic) is ideal. PH levels that are too high (8+) will have the same effect as a pH level that is too low.

When the soil pH drops below 6, a number of nutrients necessary for proper growth become less available for use by the turfgrass plant. As nutrients become less available, the lawn's color, vigor and ability to resist or recover from heat, drought or traffic stress will be reduced. Applications of lime to raise the soil pH above 6 can increase the availability of these nutrients, making it easier to maintain the quality and vigor of your lawn.

New England soils tend to be naturally acidic. Factors that contribute to acidic soils are the breakdown of rock, the prevalence of pine trees and acid rain. A yearly maintenance application of lime is recommended. Testing the pH of your soil and application of an adjustment quantity of lime is ideal.

For more information on liming and care of your lawn, please give us a call at (877) 308-8733 or contact us through our website at

Fertilize While You Irrigate with Fertigation

Fertilize Your Lawn Each Time You Water

Fertigation is a system attached to your irrigation system that will apply low doses of fertilizer to your lawn each time you water, keeping your lawn healthy and green all season long.

The benefits of Fertigation over traditional broadcast fertilizing methods include:

  • Eliminates over-fertilization and run-off
  • Increased nutrient absorption by grass plants
  • Reduction of fertilizer and chemicals
  • Reduced nitrogen leaching into water table
  • Reduction in water usage due to plant’s increased root mass and ability to trap and hold water

For more information on Fertigation, call now to arrange a consultation with our irrigation specialist at 877-308-8733.

Follow us on Facebook:

Insect and Pest Management Alerts

This year’s weather has brought a healthy infestation of insects and diseases. Here are some of the alarming ones:

Cottony Scale

These insects are closely related to aphids and affect Holly, Euonymus, Yews, and a variety of other trees and shrubs. Scale insects feed by tapping into the plant stem or leaf and withdrawing plant sap. Plants infested with scale will show signs of thinning or yellowing foliage and possibly branch dieback. In severe cases, they can even kill plants.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

These insects only affect Hemlocks. They are an aphid-like insect that shows up in cottony masses and sucks plant sap out of needles and stems. This insect is rapidly spreading throughout the Hemlocks in our area. Plants infested with Adelgid will show similar signs as cottony scale, thinning, yellowing, and dieback.

Diplodia Tip Blight vs. Needlecast Disease

These diseases both affect Austrian Pines yet in different ways, and require different treatment plans. Diplodia Tip Blight is evidenced by browning, starting at the tips and spreading toward the stem. Needlecast Disease tends to manifest itself as tiny yellow/brown spots on needles and progresses until entire needle becomes brown and falls.

Repeated seasons of stress from these diseases, over several years, can lead to the tree turning brown, entire branches dying, and the tree becoming deformed. If left unchecked, it can eventually kill mature trees.

Call now to have a professional arborist inspect and identify your pests and develop a custom treatment strategy. 877.308.8733.

First Aid For Your Lawn

TLC Now Will Reap Green Rewards

At this time of year your lawn may show signs of stress and be crying out for some TLC. Is your lawn experiencing any of the following problems?

  1. Thin or bare spots
  2. High traffic areas where soil is compacted
  3. Invasive grasses
  4. Excess weeds
  5. Drought damage

Here are some great, natural ways that are guaranteed to improve the health and beauty of your lawn.

Core Aeration is the mechanical removal of small cores of soil from your lawn.. This procedure reduces soil compaction and opens it up allowing water fertilizer and air to penetrate the soil’s surface. Relieving soil compaction allows grass to develop deeper, stronger root systems.

Dethatching your lawn consists of mechanically ‘raking’ your lawn to remove the layer of thatch or dead grass that accumulates over time. Removal of thatch will allow air, water and fertilizer to penetrate the root system of your grass.

Slice Seeding will refresh your lawn by adding new seed to your lawn. A slice seeding machine slices shallow trenches into your lawn and inserts new grass seeds into the trenches. The seed to soil contact increases seed germination and growth rates, resulting in a thicker, more vigorous lawn.

For more information on improving the beauty of your lawn, please give us a call at 877.308.8733 or email us

Asian Longhorned Beetle Decimates Local Trees

Invasive Insects Threaten Hardwood Trees

The Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) is an invasive insect from Asia that is a serious threat to hardwood trees (trees that lose their foliage after growing season) in the United States. These trees include maple, elm, willow, birch, horsechestnut and poplar. During its infant stage, the insect bores into a tree's heartwood and feeds on the nutrients. The tunneling can cause extensive damage, which will eventually kill the tree. The insect is approximately 1 - 1.5 inches in length with antennae as long as the body itself. Although they can fly up to 400 yards, they tend to lay eggs in the same tree they emerged as adults.

The Adult female, active primarily during the summer and early fall, can chew 35 to 90 depressions into the bark of the host tree. One egg is laid at each site, which hatches in 10-15 days. The resulting offspring tunnel into the woody tissue of the tree, where it feeds and continues to develop over the winter. In the spring, the offspring build a hard case to develop in. When summer comes, they chew their way out of the tree leaving perfectly round exit holes of ¼ to ½ inch. They then feed on the leaves and twigs of the tree, before starting the cycle over again.

Getting rid of the beetles is primarily accomplished through detection and removal of the host tree. If you encounter these beetles, you are urged to contact the U.S. Department of Agricultures' (USDA) local Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Director, who can be located at the following website:

In Massachusetts, you can also contact The ALB Program at 508.799.8330 or toll free at (866) 702.9938.Qualified Arborists can provide preventative treatments to non-infested trees through a 3-year program of tree or soil injections. The chemical treatment disperses into the tree and travels into twigs and leaves so infant stage and adult beetles ingest the chemical and die.

To find out more about a preventative 3-year treatment program to protect your properties trees, contact Carpenter Costin at or call (877) 308.8733.


Recent Posts

Subscribe to Blog