The love for the Pacific Northwest is amplified by the amazing tree scapes found within the region – not to mention easy access to the coast in one direction and the mountains in another… drive a bit further and you can even experience the desert.

Of course, though, my first and foremost attachment to this area are the amazing and diversified trees.

It saddens me when a beautiful and seemingly healthy tree is toppled by mother nature – and, it always seems to be the glorious older trees affected the most. The “WHAT IF” thoughts start racing through my mind when the news coverage highlights tree damage from a strong storm.

What if… the tree had been regularly maintained. What if… the tree was given ample room to grow. The questions could go on. Seriously, though, there is a tremendous emphasis here on the importance of regular maintenance for a tree, especially urban trees. While many skip the thought of spending money to prune a tree, they forget (or maybe are not educated) about the impact improper pruning techniques can have on the structural integrity of a tree.

Think for a moment about a tree that may be growing next to a home. It is 30 feet to the top and it’s span is vast. Imagine the tree has been there for quite a few years and a homeowner decides it’s time to prune some of the branches away from the home – giving it some “building clearance”, as an Arborist would say. The way I see it, the homeowner has a couple options – hire an Arborist or Do It Yourself. Now, I’m not gonna lie, if I were the homeowner and this were a smaller, juvenille tree that needed a few snippets here and there – I myself might conquer the task on my own. However, the daunting task of conquering a 30-foot tree on¬†one’s own¬†is just asking for trouble.

The trouble starts with the huge risk of personal injury – let’s face it, most homeowners lost the “daredevil” attitude years ago. Adding to the layers of trouble, there is the major issue with the age of the tree as the technique to prune a mature tree is much different than that of younger trees. Plus, do you realize how much one of those “branches” actually weigh?!? Don’t be deceived, they are several hundred pounds heavier than your lowest guess.

Getting back to the initial scenario of building clearance. Let’s continue the story that the homeowner decided to tackle this project on his own. Since the tree provides beautiful curb appeal for the front of the home, the homeowner elects to just remove the branches extending toward the home and viola, building clearance.

Here’s the Disaster Equation… Wet Ground + High Winds + Improper Pruning = Disaster

The improper pruning in the formula is based on the fact that the pruning completed by the homeowner actually created a hazardous situation for the tree. By making such vigorous cutting/pruning on just one side of the tree (side next to home), it created an unbalanced structure within the tree – essentially the weight of the limbs/branches is not distributed evenly and is thus causes increased stress on the side gone un-pruned.

This situation places the tree in tremendous danger – the right mix of saturated grounds from winter or spring storms along with high wind gusts or sustained winds will cause this tree to fall over.

The video and photos shown in this blog post highlighted a tree in the Portland Metro area – the tree and homeowner are not representative of the fictional story portrayed above.

Special thanks to Wyoming Tree Care for allowing local news coverage (KGW Newschannel 8 РKeely Chalmers reporting) to follow work for the day in the aftermath of a strong spring storm that barreled through the Pacific Northwest on April 5th.

Did you know the City of Portland is one municipality requiring a permit to prune, plant and/or remove vegetation falling under the “urban forest” definition?

Simply wanting to prune your trees located within a public right-of-way, otherwise know as “street side” requires a permit prior to engaging in any activity.

Wyoming Tree Care will be devoting an entire page on our website to “Permitting” so that our area property owners can come to one place to find information and links to any municipality within the Portland Metro area. Stay tuned and keep checking back as the page will begin to grow over the next week.

Found this note on the Wyoming Museum of Science and Industry‘s Facebook Fan Page.

Saturday, March 20 is the vernal equinox for Pacific Time Zone at 10:34 a.m. PDT, the day on which both the north and south pole of the earth are equal distances towards the sun (92.6 million miles). At that instant the sun stands directly over the Earths equator. The first day of spring, called ‘the vernal equinox’, vernal meaning ‘green’, and equinox meaning ‘equal night’, which simply means that on the equinox the hours of daylight are equal to the hours of night.

Fun Facts:
* As seen from Portland on March 20, the noon sun (1:18 pm) will reach its mid-point in the sky near 45 degrees from the southern horizon.

* On the first day of spring, the Sun rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west. And each successive day thereafter it rises and sets just a little bit farther to the north until the summer solstice on June 20, the first day of summer, when the Sun reaches its northernmost point along the horizon and actually seems to ‘stand still’ and rise and set in the same place for a few days. In fact the word ‘solstice’ means ‘sun stands still’.

* As the season changes from summer to winter and vice versa, the Sun and Moon are in perfect balance, as if they were on opposite ends of a celestial see-saw:

Summer: The Sun rises in the NE and sets in the NW; the Moon rises in the SE and sets in the SW. At transit, the Sun’s altitude is high; the Moon’s altitude is low. The Sun is visible ~15 hr.; the Moon is visible ~9 hr.

Winter: Sun rises in the SE and sets in the SW; Moon rises in the NE and sets in the NW. At transit, Sun’s altitude is low; Moon’s altitude is high. Sun visible ~9 hr.; Moon visible ~15 hr.

Note: The preceding statements are true only during (or near) Full Moon. During (or near) New Moon, the Moon appears to closely follow the path of the Sun across the sky.

* The lengths of day and night are then equal over almost all Earth, except at the poles. At the North Pole and South Pole, Earth’s atmosphere bends the Sun’s rays enough to make the Sun visible throughout the day and night, even during the 12 hours the Sun is below the horizon.

* From March 21 until September 24, the days are longer than the nights for the northern hemisphere. The 12 hours day and night actually occurs few days before the vernal equinox. This is due to the earth’s atmosphere causes the light from the sun to be refracted when the sun is near the horizon.

* In A.D. 150, the annual path of the Sun against background stars was such that on the vernal equinox, the Sun “entered” the constellations Aries. This is how the first day of spring became endowed with the name “first point of Aries.” In 1930, the International Astronomical Union restructured constellation boundaries. And because of the ongoing precession (wobble) of the Earth on its axis the “first point of Aries” has shifted in the calendar and occurs one month earlier than the vernal equinox. On the first day of spring, the sun will be in the constellation Pisces, the “Fish.” In about 600 years, the “first point of Aries” will reach the constellation Aquarius and enter the “age of Aquarius.”

Again, giving credit where credit is due. This was posted by the OMSI staff for their FB Fans.

Republished with the permission of the International Society of Arboriculture

Top 10 Myths of Tree Care

Should you prune your trees in the Spring? How deep must fertilizer be applied to reach the roots of your trees? Which species of trees should be topped to keep them from falling on your house? Most homeowners treasure the trees on their property but know little about how to care for them. Much of what you may have heard about tree care is actually incorrect, based on myths and misconceptions. Here are the top 10 myths of tree care.

MYTH #1: When a tree is planted it should be securely staked to ensure the development of a stable root system and a strong trunk. Although it is sometimes necessary to stake trees to keep them upright and allow establishment, there are some adverse effects of staking. Compared to staked trees, unstaked trees tend to develop a more extensive root system and better trunk taper. Allowing a small amount of movement can help root and trunk development. Of course, the worst effect of staking is the possibility of trunk damage from the staking wires or ties. Staking materials usually should be removed after one year to avoid “girdling” the tree.

Spring is fast approaching and you can be prepared for the budding season.


Wyoming Tree Care recently made the local news when they helped a local family safely remove a tree that threatened their home after a recent storm. We were in the right place at the right time and were able to help the homeowners save their house.

Link to the Full Video Here

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