Spring has come and gone, and so has the invasion of those pesky little white seeds that float around your neighborhood. As you may or may not know, those seeds come from a tree called the cottonwood. And, sad to say, you can’t blame their annoyingness on being an invasive species because they are native to Washington state. Even though those seeds are now out of sight, out of mind, their trees still pose a threat.

Cottonwoods are a trouble-making tree for many reasons. They have those irritating seeds that float into every nook and cranny, and sticky buds that fall off everywhere. These buds are troublesome to get off of cars and will stain carpets yellow if tracked inside.

Even though they can practically grow all over the United States and in many environments, cottonwoods are not as resilient as they seem. They are a fast-growing species. In fact, they are the fastest growing trees in North America, growing 6 feet or more in height per year. This puts them at risk for having weaker, more porous wood than other types of trees. They have a propensity to be penetrated by infestations, to rot, and to break more easily. Because their weak wood is more likely than other trees to be diseased, rotten, or bug infested, they are more likely to die, break, and fall. The summer season is especially dangerous as it is a time when cottonwoods are growing too fast for their own good, thus making them more vulnerable to breakage.

Because they grow so easily and quickly in many places, their root systems are likely to spread where they shouldn’t and tear underground things, like pipes, apart. They also are a major culprit in the destruction of wetlands and retaining ponds.

If you are prone to allergies, you might think that the annoying seeds are going to make your allergies worse. But, if you have a tree pollen allergy, the bloom season when those cotton-covered cottonwood seeds are being blown around, is not when your allergic reactions will be at their worst. The season of pollination occurs before the seeds mature and fall and so this is when your symptoms will be most pronounced.

If you have a cottonwood tree that has been bothering you, it’s a good idea to get it down before their limbs start to break off and land where you don’t want them to land. So, complete our free quote form or give us a call at 253-797-3621 to discuss what to do with your cottonwoods.

In any case, a site visit by one of our tree experts will allow us to give you the most accurate and fairest price. Whether you have one tree or a whole grove of them, we would welcome the opportunity to help you decide how to handle your cottonwoods. We encourage you to complete our form to request an appointment.

The things that steer your career path are not often what you might expect.

Our very own, Jared Swears, saw a sign on the side of a Sky High Tree Removal truck parked at a neighbor’s house while a job was underway. Jared knew, Joshua Wilke, the business owner and the good reputation of the business in the community. He jotted down the phone number from the truck’s signage and when he turned 18, he gave Joshua a call to ask whether they might be hiring. Not only were they hiring, they were eager to help Jared launch into a new career.

Jared remembers that initially he was afraid of heights. But his hard working and adventurous spirit, kept him from shying away from the challenge and soon he was climbing even the tallest of trees with efficiency, speed and joy.

Today, almost four years later, Jared is serving Sky High Tree Removal’s customers as an estimator, crew leader, maintenance executive, climber, and equipment operator. He knows that each climber looks at a single tree differently, assessing the different possibilities: where to make cuts and how much rope to use. Based on his experience, Jared confidently proceeds with what he believes is the fastest and most efficient steps to get each job done. Aside from being a wonderful group of nice friendly guys, Jared wants clients to see that he and his team aim for high quality service and timeliness from start to finish, including clean up. They show up, get done, and leave.

A native Northwesterner, Jared loves that his career allows him to be outside. He loves watching the seasons change as each day brings different views. He brings his all to everything he does. Whether it be his in his work or hiking, snowboarding, or motorcycling, Jared loves to push himself to grow even in his free time.

Meet Jared and the rest of our wonderful team for yourself.

If you are looking for a group of professionals to handle your tree care needs, give Sky High Tree Removal a call at 253-797-3621.

Many times, accidents and property damage occur when a dead or diseased tree reaches a breaking point. Tree service companies are often called out to situations like this when damage has already been done.

What if you knew what to look for so that you could recognize a struggling tree and service it before damage occurs? Now, as we’re sure you’ve realized, if your tree still has ample leaves sprouting from its branches, it is still alive. Now is as good a time as any to give your tree a quick check-up.

Step 1: Give it a look-see!

The Branches: If your tree is looking a little down-in-the-dumps, it might be trying to tell you something. When your deciduous trees have no leaves in non-winter months, they need further attention. Missing and discolored leaves are one prime sign of an unhealthy tree. For Evergreen trees, it’s normal for dead needles to fall off. However, Evergreens that only have brown needles need further investigation.

The Trunk: Inspect for cracks or soft sponginess in the bark. If the bark just falls off or is brittle, there is reason to think your tree is unhealthy, or possibly already dead. Other trunk damages that need to be monitored for are cankers (sections of dead or wounded tissue) and decay. Any signs of fungus could be a symptom of internal rotting and should be surveyed.

The Roots: Epicormic shoots (previously dormant buds that are now growing branches; some trees efforts to regenerate) are a sure indicator that the roots of a tree are under abnormal stress. Flooding and strong winds can weaken the root system and with a weak root system, a tree can’t survive.

Other Indicators: Watch for excessive pitch (sap) discharge or the presence of sawdust from ants or termites. Production of pitch is an indicator of intense internal damage. Additionally, woodpeckers are key signs of tree health as they instinctively know where the bugs are, and if you are seeing woodpeckers and bugs, that might mean there is rot within the tree.

Changes in the location can cause trees distress. Soil disturbances from construction can affect the health of root systems. Additionally, if buildings have been erected and/or other trees removed, changes in sun and wind exposure could affect how the tree rebounds. Trees are less likely to recover from drastic changes.

Step 2: Test it!

If you are trying to diagnose whether your tree is dead or alive, the easiest way is to lightly bend one of its branches. If the branch breaks off easy-peasy, then you’ve got a dead tree on your hands. If the branch fights back by bending without snapping, then it’s still alive.

Snapping off a branch of a living tree might seem counter-productive as it is an abrasive effort. A good way to truly know if your tree is still thriving is to take a peek inside. You can peel off a bit of its bark from the trunk or snap off a small twig from one of its branches. If the inside is dry and brown, your tree is no longer alive. If the inside is moist and green, your tree is still kickin’!

Experienced tree service professionals can also conduct core sampling and judge the health of a tree based on the color of sawdust exposed with the use of a drill. The goal here is to diagnose the tree without disturbing it. Disturbances to a dead tree are of no concern but if your tree is alive, it could suffer if you are careless with your efforts

Step 3: Call us!

If you’ve discovered that you have a dead tree on your property, a sick tree that needs removal, or a healthy tree that just needs some TLC, complete our free quote form. If you have any other further questions/concerns, give us a call at 253-797-3621.

When you call Sky High Tree Removal’s office, the first of our wonderful team you will meet is Lorene. Lorene is the Operations Officer for our team. She is responsible for answering the phone, scheduling, invoicing, reporting, contractor requests, execution and tracking of business goal achievements as planned, process adherence, documentation and creation. Though she has been working at Sky High Tree Removal for only 6 months, she has known Joshua and the team for many years.

She is such a valued asset to our team because of her operations management experience, communication skills, and dedication to excellence. As we grow and develop new processes, Lorene communicates with all parties involved to aid and coordinate at various levels. From start to finish, clients know that Sky High Tree Removal is striving to interact with people to improve their lives.

When she’s not at work learning how to use a Mac Book Pro operating system (after 25 years with Windows, it’s been a joyous challenge), Lorene enjoys spending her time volunteering, meeting new people, skateboarding, hiking, outdoor sports and spending time with family. With so many different talents, she continues to bring, energy, vision and productivity to her role.

Lorene understands the value of relationship building with clients as well as within the crew. Team meetings are among Lorene’s favorite happenings at work. This is a time for the crew to get together to go over safety and to touch base on upcoming procedures for review, development and implementation. Spending time together and sharing what’s going on helps keep the atmosphere fun and focused. With such a supportive employer, the Sky High Tree Removal team is able to grow and learn from one another much like a family.

Lorene knows that clients value our dedication to the quality of service that is received. She takes “service with a smile” to new heights. To maintain the ease of process for each and every client she makes it a tip-top priority to provide custom detailed communication. This is one of Lorene’s favorite things about being a member of this highly-motivated and productive team, we are out to make each and every customer experience the best it can be.

To get to know Lorene and the rest of the team better, consider hiring Sky High Tree Removal for your tree care and project needs. Give us a call at 253-797-3621 to schedule and estimate for service today!

Leading a team takes passion, direction, and skill. Leading a business requires all those things and more.

Joshua Wilke has been growing Sky High Tree Removal for 14 years. Having opened in the Spring of 2005, a majority of his focus has been on getting jobs, doing jobs, and completing transactions. Joshua shows little hesitation when sharing his heart for his business and for the people he has been able to bless with its services.

Joshua has been climbing trees for a long time. He jokes about the many times he’s fallen out of trees and landed on his feet. It wasn’t long until the neighbors and people from school started to equate Joshua with the talented tree climber he is. Whether his buddies from school were asking for help to secure a rope swing or his neighbor was looking for a couple limbs trimmed, young Joshua fed on the excitement of climbing trees.

Years later, he still feeds on excitement, but now of a different kind. He loves the connections and community he has developed with people. Including employees, clients, or other business owners, Joshua thrives in guiding and encouraging everyone around him to grow. By helping others to develop, he finds growth for himself. While he’s always had a personality people gravitate towards, stepping into a leadership role did not come naturally to him. Joshua sought out mentors and to help focus his efforts and strengthen his planning. He has grown in his confidence to a point where he now spends great energy mentoring others, and not just those related to his business but also within non-profit agencies.

Joshua still has many aspirations for his business. He intends to establish greater efficiency by moving out of his home and into a designated business location. Establishing everything in one location has been an ambition of Joshua’s for a while and something he aims to accomplish within the next 5 years or so.

Still, Joshua’s favorite thing about his job is the sound of a tree roaring as it crashes down. Something about the controlled chaos enthralls this tree care professional. He mentions the rush he experiences as he scrambles to take the earplugs out before the tree cracks so that he can bear witness to the snap.

Everything Joshua does reflects his commitment to be the best version of himself. A wise quote by Brian Tracy goes, “Your true success in life begins only when you make the commitment to become excellent at what you do.” (even the procedure of clean-up after a job is done). Joshua and his company aim to leave the yards of their clients “cleaner than a golf course”, to go above and beyond and over-deliver every time. Joshua does this not just as a business model but as a personal conviction.

Joshua is enthusiastic, joyful and passionate. He has been a real blessing to work with. We just want to take a moment to introduce you to our owner and celebrate this leader and friend.

To get to know Joshua and the rest of the team better, consider hiring them for any of your tree care needs. Give them a call at 253-797-3621.

Now that winter is in full swing, it is a great time to take care of any trimming and pruning needs your trees may have. Here is a list of questions and answers you may have regarding the pruning.

Number 1. What is pruning?

Sometimes phrases can lose their meanings, or their meaning changes over time. It helps save from any miscommunication when we take a minute to clearly define terms used in discussions. In this case, pruning is simply cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems from a tree, shrub, or bush. When these sort of cuts are made, the plant responds. In order to have the desired effect, it’s important to apply a little strategy here.

Number 2. What are reasons to prune?

There are three major reasons to prune a plant. The first is the safety of the people and property around. If there are dead branches that could cause harm to people when it falls, it would be better to prune it away in a controlled situation than wait for a wind storm to blow it down on top of anything/anyone nearby. The second reason to prune a plant is related to the overall health of the plant. When limbs are dead, diseased, or hindering growth in another way, pruning back some of the branches helps the plant begin to rejuvenate. Often, when the growing points of some limb is removed that will invigorate and reinforce the remaining limbs. The nutrients that would have gone to the removed limb are now offered to the remaining limb. The third reason to prune is view enhancement. Pruning helps train the tree to keep a proper shape. Whether that’s for the visual appeal, structural integrity or simply preventing the tree from hitting some power-lines, pruning encourages growth and when done right, growth in a manner that brings beauty to the landscape.

Number 3. Does pruning plants hurt them?

In short, yes. Cutting the tree often exposes the more vulnerable parts of the tree to damage. However, there are many ways to limit the damage, and there are still many good reasons to prune the plants anyway. Much like when a mother tells the child who says the medicine burns, “that means it’s working”. Sometimes the little harm inflicted is nothing compare to the benefit that comes later.

Number 4. What should you keep in mind when you are considering pruning? Why should you call in a professional?

First and foremost, consider the time of year. The late fall and winter months are the perfect time to trim up your trees for many reasons:

Depending on what limbs need to be removed sometimes specialized equipment is needed to better guarantee the tree’s health and people’s safety. When pruning, you are often looking for the sick limbs, limbs that have the potential to fall and cause damage. These limbs might be in positions that do not have easy access, so highly trained professionals are your best bet to safely conduct any tree preservation. Additionally, some plants have specific needs regarding how they are pruned. These are specific needs that a tree professional would be aware of and would be able to support while tending to the plant

Pruning is a delicate balance from start to finish. You don’t want to prune too much but you also want to make sure that the desired effect is accomplished. We want to encourage the trees to grow healthy and safely. If you have any trees, shrubs or bushes on your property that you have concerns about, give us a call and we will schedule a time to give you a free estimate regarding how we can help you help your plants. Request an appointment by filling out our contact form here or call us at 253-797-3621.

Work Cited:

Vossen, Paul. Ten Basics of When and How to Prune Fruit Trees. 30 Nov. 2018, http://cesonoma.ucanr.edu/files/27164.pdf
Vintage Tree Care. Why is Pruning Important? Jan 14 Vintage tree care inc. 11/30/18 https://www.vintagetreecare.com/why-is-pruning-important
Albertarb. The Dangers of Not Properly Pruning Your Trees. 22 July 2014, Alberta Arborists. https://www.albertaarborists.com/News/The-Dangers-of-Not-Properly-Pruning-Your-Trees

Logging is the activity or business of cutting and transporting trees to prepare them to be processed into lumber. Urban Logging is a similar process, but the trees cut here are often located within city limits. It is often hard to see some of these trees go. Whether it was previously swing secure points or a shade provider, trees add their own charm to our often concrete jungles. Nevertheless, there are many reasons why it is better to remove a tree than let it continue to cause problems (like tree death, disease, or damage). We hope to do more with the tree than scrap it to firewood or mulch. With urban logging, a stand of trees or even just a few can be alternatively utilized while enhancing the property. Depending on the trees, mills are often happy to make use of the viable wood as plywood, flooring, furniture, etc.

Tree removal is often a complicated business. Urban logging, however, is a new realm of complexity. Taking down trees near buildings (business or homes), streets and parking lots requires special extraction techniques and machinery. In these scenarios, major focus rests on strategy and efficiency. Because of the populated areas, quick cleanup is necessary and down time needs to be limited. With great leadership, highly-trained professional staff, and specialized machinery, urban logging is a challenge we look forward to undertaking. Feel free to call give us a call and we would love to give you a free consultation to discuss what could be done with the trees on your lot.

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