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Carpenter Costin Blog

Carpenter Costin's Arborists Partake in ISA Certification Program

Crew Members Join an Elite Rank of ISA Certified Tree Workers

On September 11th and 12th, members of Carpenter Costin's tree crews participated in a 2 day, International Society of Arboriculture climbing skills and arboriculture education training program in Amesbury, MA.  

Carpenter Costin brought in a Certified Arborist instructor from North American Training Solutions, an industry-renowned company that travels the world training tree workers.  Roughly only 1% of tree companies in this country train their workers to the level of International Society of Arboriculture Tree Worker Climber Specialist.

Training included a comprehensive look at modern climbing techniques, knot tying, equipment integrity, work positioning, job site safety, as well as emergency response preparedness.

After 1 ½ days of intense training, two examiners from the International Society of Arboriculture tested each crew member in a rigorous practical climbing exam where all their skills and equipment use had to be properly demonstrated.    

Following the practical exam, the crew members were given a written exam that tested them on industry rules and standards, OSHA regulations, and arboriculture systems and practices.

What does this mean for you?

Our arborists have always demonstrated precise and expert tree care services, and now we can say they are all part of an elite class of ISA certified tree workers. This will result in safer, more efficient work; without sacrificing the high quality work product we've become known for.

Winter Tree Care and a 10% Discount

tree_removal_bucket_truckAvoid tree loss and property damage  

Most damage during severe weather events occurs due to falling trees and limbs.  During winter months, storms with high winds can break off branches or cause trees to fall, resulting in property damage, power outages or even personal injury. The weight of ice and snow accumulations can bend and break delicate evergreens.

Now is an important time to have your trees inspected for decay, broken or hazardous branches, and weak branch unions.  There are some basic procedures that can help reduce the risk of tree and property damage.  Carpenter Costin’s certified arborists can inspect for conditions and defects that could predispose your trees to failure. In the winter you want to be sure to:

  • Clear dangerous branches away from your home
  • Remove dangerous and unwanted trees and shrubs
  • Rejuvenate shrubs and hedge to thicken and invigorate
  • Prune disease-prone fruit trees
  • Prune to improve vista

Please give us a call to arrange a complimentary appointment for a Carpenter Costin certified arborist to give your trees a thorough inspection and evaluation before winter hits.  Based on our assessment, Carpenter Costin may recommend treatments, pruning or installation of support cables.  As trees provide great value and beauty to your property, removal should only be considered only where high risk conditions exist. 

We offer a 10% discount on winter tree work between December 1st and March 31.

Don’t let your trees become casualties.  Call now to arrange a Free Tree Inspection by a certified arborist.  877-308-8733.

Winter Tree Work in MA - 10% Discount

It's time for winter tree work. Have your trees serviced between Dec - Mar and get a 10% discounTree removal and tree pruning in the winter is ideal for a number of reasons. Firm ground, low foliage, and reduced outdoor activity make tree service easier for the Arborist. Carpenter Costin's 10%  winter discount makes tree service much easier for the property owner as well.

Tree service in the winter is also recommended for areas that are constantly used in the growing season, such as golf courses and athletic fields. Servicing trees in these locations during the winter will ensure that there is no damage to the turf.

 

With clear sight lines, Arborists can easily analyze and prune out dead wood and hanging limbs, and identify any structural weaknesses that can be pruned or cabled to ensure safety.

Consider Carpenter Costin's winter tree services to help improve the appeal and safety of your trees. You'll be glad come spring time.

What Causes Trees to Split?

describe the imageBetween wind and rain, Mother Nature can take a toll on your trees and put your homes, cars, and family at risk! A couple of weeks ago we got a call about an Oak tree in Swampscott that started to split on a calm day. During the month of July we had five calls for similar issues; trees or branches failing for seemingly no apparent reason. 
It's hard to remember now that we're enjoying the summer heat, but we had two significant storms this winter. Those hurricane force winds have damaged our trees, and now that the added weight of water and leaves are in the tree canopies, we're seeing the flaws manifest. 
This reminder reinforces the need to have a free arborist evaluation. A professional eye will see what you may not before you end up with a tree on your roof!

Create a Destination - At Home!

Soothe Your Soul by Enhancing your Landscaping

The fragrant hint of summer roses, the sound of the wind in the trees and the beauty of brightly colored flowers all reward our senses in the garden. After a long day of traffic jams, deadlines, difficult economic news and endless demands, a stroll through your garden can soothe the soul. In fact, researchers have found that exposure to nature can actually reduce your blood pressure, give you a sense of peace, and lift your mood. Lincoln patio and poolTurn your yard into a place to relax by making it a destination. You can create an inviting outdoor living space by adding outdoor ‘rooms.’  Here are some ideas:

  • Design a tropical, comfortable and calming oasis. Imagine sipping an ice cold drink and relaxing with friends in the sun!
  • Add a pizza oven for unmatched entertaining.
  • Create a special place just for the kids and bring them out into the fresh air to play. 
  • A special, secluded ‘room’ in a quiet spot can be used for reading or meditation.
  • An outdoor fireplace can be used throughout the year.

If you have any questions or interested in any of our services please call us at 877-308-8733.

Pruning Timing Depends on Pruning Goals

pruningWhile it's true that most pruning can be done at any time of year, your pruning goals dictate when a shrub or tree should be pruned.

Size Control of Non-Flowering Shrubs

When pruning shrubs such as Yews, Holly, Juniper, Privet, Arborvitae or Burning Bush, the best time to prune is just after the initial flush of growth.  Bud break occurs on most shrubs in April or May based on temperature and rainfall.  Immediately following the opening of the buds, the shrubs explode with new growth.  This growing period subsides with summer heat and reduced rainfall.  It's at this time, late June to early July, that pruning begins, removing the excessive growth that can cause shrubs to outgrow their intended space.  Later in the summer, usually around September, a ‘touch up’ pruning is done to control the limited growth that occurs in the hot summer months.  This second pruning helps maintain a neat appearance during dormant months.

It should be noted that shearing of shrubs, other than hedges, is not an accepted practice by horticulturalists.    

Spring Flowering Shrubs

There are two main goals in pruning flowering shrubs:

  1. To maintain the shrub within its intended site
  2. To promote maximum flower display

The timing for pruning shrubs such as Viburnum, Honeysuckle, Forsythia, Potentilla and Weigela, is after they flower.  These types of shrubs produce flower buds later in the summer for next year’s blossoms.  Late June or July is the appropriate time to prune such plants to maximize the next year’s flowers.

Large Leaved Rhododendrons

rhododendronLarge leaved Rhododendrons should never be sheared.  Shearing damages the leaves, causing unsightly brown cut margins.  Also, shearing creates a dense outer crown that does not allow light and airflow to easily reach the inside of the shrub’s crown.  Shearing definitely increases insect and disease activity in all shrubs, especially Rhododendrons.

Carpenter Costin hand prunes all large leaved Rhododendrons, maintaining a natural appearance, while maintaining the size of the plant within its intended space.  Rhododendrons are pruned shortly after flowering, which usually occurs sometime in late June.

It should be noted that plant development does not occur based on our calendar, but rather on daily temperature, called ‘Degree Days Heating.’

Summer Flowering Shrubs

blue hydrangeaAs with other flowering shrubs, pruning shortly after flowering is the best time.  Shrubs such as Clethra, Spirea, Rose of Sharon, and Hydrangea flower later in the season.  Summer flowers are produced on the new wood/shoots and develop in the same calendar year.  Hence, pruning too early will remove flowers getting ready for this year’s display. 

Our Strategy

At Carpenter Costin Landscape Management we plan for 3 separate prunings each season targeting specific shrubs.  The timing of our target pruning dates is completely dictated by the shrub’s development and species.  (We monitor Degree Day Heating through the University of Massachusetts for a variety of purposes).

First Pruning

As we can all see, large leaved Rhododendrons are in bloom right now.  I estimate that these shrubs will be pruned at the end of June, just after their flowers fall.

Second Pruning

Spring and early summer shrubs are either flowering now or have just passed flowering.  Pruning of these shrubs and the first pruning of non-flowering shrubs will occur approximately 4 weeks from now, or early July.  This timing will assure that we get the most out of our spring and early summer flowering shrubs and get the best flower development for next year’s blossoms.

Also, the initial growth spurt will be behind us for non-flowering shrubs, allowing for a longer period of time with a managed shape.

Third Pruning

Late summer pruning, to ‘touch up’ the almost certain additional growth of non-flowering shrubs, and the proper pruning time for summer flower shrubs, is September.

Support Your Trees With Tree Cabling

Overview

Arborist cabling tree

Many trees in our managed landscapes are valued for their unique growing habit, such as an open spreading canopy, or a narrow upright branching in small spaces.  Although aesthetically pleasing, these growth habits can have inherent problems that require support systems to keep them, safe and structurally sound.

How Does Tree Cabling Work?

One of the most common methods used to sure up these problems is tree cabling. This involves the installation of a steel cable in the upper two-thirds of a tree’s canopy to help support an out-stretched limb, or a leader hanging precariously over a house. The cable transfers the load from itself to an adjacent limb, therefore not taking on the full weight, and reducing the risk of breaking away.

How To Identify If Your Tree Needs Cabling

There are three main reasons to add tree cabling to your landscape trees.  The first is to prevent splitting of a healthy tree or limb.  The second is to restore a damaged tree due to previous breakage, and the third is to mitigate possible hazards in a public area. 

The first step in tree cabling is to identify the hazard potential of the tree and its risk to nearby people or structures.  This is identified by tree characteristics such as included bark, or defective unions, large multi-stemmed trees, such as Silver Maple and River Birch, or top heavy limbs on a specimen tree.  Next it should be identified if the tree is a candidate for cabling. Is the tree too far gone? Is there enough solid wood to attach a cable?  These are questions that a certified arborist can assist in answering.

An Alternative For Tree Removal

Although this is a common practice used in the landscape, there are risks involved. 

For one, tree cabling will cause a small wound in the tree where the lag bolt is installed, but in most cases the tree will heal around. Secondly, there is no guarantee against limb, or tree failure with cabling, this is simply a best management practice reduce the risk of failure. Also, be prepared to have the cables inspected yearly to ensure that they are intact or possibly replaced as the tree ages and increases in size.

These are considered acceptable risks when valuable specimen trees are involved, and tree cabling is a better alternative to tree removal.

Storm Clean Up of Local Trees

High Winds Causing Damage To Trees in Massachusetts

Recent high winds have caused many trees to fall or to be severely damaged in our area. Carpenter Costin crews have been called on to remove trees from houses, driveways and yards.  Have an Arborist evaluate your trees for structural damage such as cracked branches and leaders.

Inspect Your Trees For Damages

A Certified Arborist is the best person to inspect your trees for hazardous or dangerous branches, or damage caused by wind, freezing and thawing temperatures, structural weakness or snow load. Certified Arborists can educate and guide you, not just in emergency winter situations, but in the care and maintenance of all of your trees and shrubs throughout all seasons.

What it Means To Be An Arborist

Massachusetts Certified Arborists and those certified by the International Society of Arboriculture are individuals who have achieved a level of knowledge in the art and science of tree care, through formal education, at least three years of experience and have passed a comprehensive examination. They are also required to continue their education in order to maintain their certification, ensuring their knowledge is updated on the latest arboriculture techniques.

Certified Arborists, years ago called tree surgeons, are trained to ­­­:

  • Recognize safety issues and make recommendations regarding structural problems in trees, such as weak branch unions, dangerous leaders, and other potentially hazardous concerns.
  • Evaluate the overall health of your trees and shrubs
  • Diagnose insect or disease problems and advise on treatment strategies
  • Avoid taking down trees that can be salvaged

Consulting with a Certified Arborist will give you the assurance that your trees are safe and healthy. 

For a complimentary evaluation of your trees and shrubs by a Certified Arborist, please give us a call at (877)308-8733.

Carpenter Costin's 10% Winter Discount on Tree Work From Dec. 1st through March 31st

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Carpenter Costin is Now on Pinterest!

For all you pinners out there; you can now find Carpenter Costin on Pinterest. We’ll be making an effort to pin some of our latest projects, along with creative landscape and tree care ideas, and hopefully some great do it yourself projects. Keep an eye out for some contests as well.

You can find us on Pinterest here: Carpenter Costin Pinterest

In addition to Pinterest, you can find us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. As always, feel free to reach out to us on any of these avenues.

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Visit Carpenter Costin at an Upcoming Event

Take advantage of our region's great home, flower, and garden shows. Stop by the Carpenter Costin booth at the following shows for a chance to chat and possibly win some cool prizes!

We really enjoy exhibiting at local flower, garden, and home shows because it presents a great opportunity to talk with friends, meet new people, and reconnect with customers - both old and new. It is also a great venue for discussing recent trends and issues with home owners from across the region. These shows serve as a great learning experience for both the attendee and the exhibitor.

Carpenter Costin is slated to appear at five shows this spring, and may be expanding to a few more. Our shows are as follows:

  • Suburban Boston Home Show - Shriner's Auditorium, Wilmington. Feb 10, 11, 12
  • Essex County Home Show - Crowne Plaza Hotel, Danvers. Feb 18, 19
  • Spring Home & Garden Show - Marblehead High School. March 24, 25
  • North Shore Home & Landscape Show - Topsfield Fairgrounds. April 21, 22
  • New England Condo Expo - Seaport World Trade Center, Boston. May 22

We highly recommend you set a few hours aside to visit at least one of these shows as they are a lot of fun and you can usually learn a thing or two. If you are planning on attending one of these shows please stop by the Carpenter Costin booth and say "hi!" You'll have a chance to win some prizes too! We'll be giving away free plant health programs and a free tree planting! You can also set aside a time to talk with one of our Landscape Architects or Certified Arborists ahead of time, just click the button below to do so. We hope you can make it to one of these shows!

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carpenter costin trade show

Keep an eye out for the Carpenter Costin booth at the upcoming shows!

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