Deer Tick Tree Management 101

Deer tick life stages.

Do you find deer tick’s on your trees & property?

Spring and summer are tick seasons. During these periods, people often encounter ticks, which increase the risk of contracting diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Fever. The blacklegged or deer tick is responsible for most cases of diseases and this tick is especially prevalent in Altoona and surrounding communities. Many Pennsylvanians live with the long lasting affects Lyme disease including heart block, chronic arthritis and various neurological problems like tingling, paralysis, and memory loss.

Small rodents and deer are the most common carriers for ticks. Ticks become infected with Lyme disease by feeding on their blood. Lyme disease is serious and if you, your family, or pets spend much time in the woods, have a wooded lot, or live near Pennsylvania State Game Lands, you need to take precautions.

One of your best defenses is to know that ticks avoid dry and sunny areas. They can’t survive long without moisture, so by removing brush and trimming shrubs, you are letting sunlight in and dry air circulate reducing your risk. Also, by removing the piles of wood in which mice and ticks can hide, you are also reducing the number of ticks on your ground.

A barrier treatment administered by a tree professional is also highly effective.

So the best way to keep ticks out of your ground is to maintain it well. Remove all extra branches, wood, deadwood or anything that can make a dark and cool place for ticks to live in. Mow your lawn often and keep your pets in short grass too, because when you mow your lawn, the ticks go somewhere else.

If you’ve noticed ticks on your property, you need to protect your family from Lyme disease and other diseases transmitted by ticks. Reliable Tree Service will implement an integrated deer tick tree management program to reduce the number of ticks on your property. Call Reliable Tree Service at (814) 693-TREE to learn more about your options today.

photo credit:

My Reliable Tree Service
305 15th St. Suite 6 DuncanvsillePA16635 USA 
 • 814-693-TREE

Deer Management for Tree and Plant Health

Picture of a deer, which has been eating tree growth.One of Pennsylvania’s great treasures are our white-tailed deer, but they can also be a burden to property owners who are battling to keep them from damaging trees on their property in Blair County.

Deer can kill your trees from buck rubs but primarily be eating chutes and leaves. Adult deer eat up to six pounds per day though you might wonder why it’s always your six pounds of vegetation!

There are many products available that help repel deer from property, and you may have had some success with some of them.


They love to eat shrubs, apples and other fruits, but also vegetable gardens and ornamental gardens. Once they have established the way they eat, it is difficult to get them away from their favorite eating spots and watering holes. Your trees may be able to sustain some deer feedings, but frequent foraging will kill your trees and other plants.

Deer, however, are very persistent and have probably come back to property after you stopped applying the repellent. Also, deer seem unable to forget things they like (like eating your flowers). To effectively manage deer on your property through non-lethal means, you’ll need to take an integrated approach using products in conjunction with each other tactics to keep the deer away as part of a smart deer repellent program.

Your deer repellent program should include:

  • Deer repellents
  • Fencing
  • Deer resistant plants

Managing deer will keep your plants and trees safe while also reducing your family’s risk of Lyme disease from ticks carried by deer. For more information on tick management, check out these best practices for tree care and ticks.

If the deer have already gotten to your trees and they need removed or treated, give Reliable Tree Service at (814) 693-TREE a call so that we can assess the damage and fix the problem.

How to Care for Young Trees

A young tree including the root system.Planting a young tree can be the beginning of a lifelong relationship, therefore planting young trees require extra love and care.

They are especially vulnerable to the elements and predators, so it is essential that you learn the fundamentals of young tree care so they continue to grow. The first three years are especially important when it comes to tree loss, because the root system grows from the root ball into the new ground.

Fundamentals of Young Tree Care

First, it is important to know what the most common troubles are and how to avoid them.

The best advice for planting is to do it right where the trunk begins and flare the root. You can mow and trim around your young tree, but keep in mind that they should not touch the bark. If you accidentally tear the bark, you can cause diseases and stunt growth in young trees.

A protector like plastic or hardware cloth can also prevent cats and other animals from scratching the bark, which may be harmful too. Deer antlers can destroy a tree by rubbing and munching. To prevent this, you should keep a circle of fencing around a tree for three or four years.

Be careful not to over water the young tree and don’t prune aggressively. When watering, do it both to the original root ball and the soil around it. Watering depends on the weather and moisture of the soil, and it should occur one to two times per week during dry periods.

Correct pruning cut is also very important. An improper cut can cause your young tree to die so, if you are not sure how to do this, you should not risk the life of a young tree, but call a professional instead.

Helping your tree form a strong structure while it’s young is also very important.

The strongest branches are at 60 to 90 degree angle from the trunk, but the biggest chances for weakness have the branches that are at a 30 degree angle to the trunk or less. You need to know how to make a strong structure so your tree stays balanced and healthy.

Also, by removing crowded branches you can prevent storm damage. It is advised that you do this when the branches are small, but you should never remove more than a third of them.

Do not forget that properly apply mulch conserves moisture in soil but also provides a helps to the roots. To protect the roots, do not put mulch in contact with the trunk of the tree.

Finally, don’t forget about the pest management. It is highly important for young trees that they don’t lose many leaves or branches to pests.

Some of this advice can surely come in handy, but if you’d like help from the experts. However, if you don’t know much about gardening or trees, leave tree management to the professionals. Call Reliable Tree Service at (814) 693-TREE or through our contact us page to get an estimate today.

Do I Own a Dangerous Tree?

Reliable Tree Service cutting branches down with a chainsaw.

A neglected, damaged or sick tree can become a serious risk to your family, your property and even your life.

It’s important to understand when a tree is a danger and what to do about it.

We understand that it can be hard to part with a tree that you have had in your yard for many years, but it’s still important to protect yourself. Inspect your tree after every season change but also after heavy wind storms and rains. If you notice something suspicious, you should call Reliable Tree Service at (814) 693-TREE for a free diagnosis and quote, especially if the tree is located over your house or in a place it could fall and cause damage or injury.

We understand that especially with weather damage that tree services are needed fast. We can help.

How to Inspect a Tree

The first step to a thorough tree inspection is an overall view of the tree. See if the tree is leaning more than it had before. Keep in mind that trees usually don’t grow straight, but if it is leaning too much, it’s a sign that your tree is potentially dangerous. It doesn’t necessarily mean your tree is going to fall, but it is one of the indications that your tree isn’t as strong as it used to be.

After inspecting the tree as a whole, check the ground. The root structure includes anchoring roots that support the tree and absorbing roots that are not seen and provide the tree with nutrients. If the anchoring roots decay, your tree can fall at any time.  If the soil is cracked or raised and if there are mushrooms on or near the threes roots or trunk, that may also indicate that the tree is decaying.

Let’s move up to the trunk- the tree’s biggest support. Any cracks or cavities in the trunk may cause the trunk to break or split. Also, if there is no bark or if the bark is falling off, this could indicate a fungus attack or even a dead section.

Sometimes trees grow two or more trunks. You need to inspect the points where the multiple trunks connect because they can crack and split there especially after storms. Stronger connections shape as a “U” at the junctions while a tight “V” junction may indicate that the connection is weak.

Finally, deadwood is the most obvious sign that your tree may be dangerous. Check the upper sides of branches for rot or decay because sometimes you can’t see everything from the ground.

Final Dangerous Tree Inspection Tips

Inspect your trees regularly. Walk around them after each season change and big storms to look at them closely. Pay attention to branches, bark and roots. Inspect them from the top to bottom so you can notice all the changes.

If you suspect that you have a dangerous tree that needs removed, call My Reliable Tree Service at (814) 693-TREE or contact using our web form to get an estimate today.

How to Identify Tree Freeze and Thaw Damage

Trees thawing after a freeze.During the winter months, trees are vulnerable to freeze and thaw damage. Colder nights followed by warmer days cause continuous shrinking and expanding of the trees, as their barks shrink when it is cold and expand as it is warm outside.

Blair County winters are particularly damaging to trees.

Some of the most common problems that occur because of freeze and thaw cycles are bark and roots cracking.  To learn how to identify potential problems early continue reading.

Freeze and Thaw Cycles

You may have already noticed damage on your tree and not realized that it was from the free thaw cycle. Here’s how the cycle works, so that you can understand the cause of your tree damage. Trees function according to temperature outside. If it is cold outside, tree cells are inactive, and if it is warm the cells are active again. During the winter a sun-facing trunk on a clear day can be warmed up to the point when the cells are active. Usually it is the southwest side of the bark that warms the fastest. Much of the time, however, tree cells are inactive during the cold winter days and nights.

When there are temperature swings or particularly sunny days, tree cells are put under a lot of stress switching between active and inactive states sometimes causing them to die off. When tree cells dies as part of the free and thaw cycle, vertical cracking may occur and these cracks can be “attacked” by decay fungi and various insects.

Also, moisture on the surface of the bark thaws when it is warmer. This can be problematic because when the sun goes down, the moisture that is still in and around the bark will refreeze. This phenomenon causes cracks and splits damaging the tree, but not in areas where large groups of trees protect each other. If you are not sure where those cracks in your tree came from or what to do about it, call a professional.

When the upper layers of soil expand during the day as sunlight begins to warm up the ground and thaws the surface, and then shrinks again during the night when it gets colder, frost heaving occurs. This cycle of shrinking and expanding of the ground may result in cracks in the soil. Even worse, it can result in roots breaking, pushing shrubs out of the soil, and causing pot holes.

Dark colored bark and large trunks also contribute to freeze and thaw damages. Dark colors absorb sun rays instead of reflecting them thus these trees with dark bark refreeze more quickly when the temperature drops. Larger tree trunks need more time to warm up than trees with narrower trunks. Their surface is smaller and therefore they suffer less from freeze and thaw cycles.


Pay close attention to your trees during the winter months especially if they are dark colored and with large trunks. Inspect them closely to see if there are cracks or fungi as well. When you notice a tree has damage from the free thaw cycle, give Reliable Tree Service at (814) 693-TREE or visit our contact page to save your tree from further damage.