Tag Archives: Tree Pruning Springfield MO

Spring Tree Planting Selection and Placement

Spring Tree Planting Selection and Placement

Punxsutawney Phil, predicted six more weeks of winter. However, that hasn’t stopped us from getting excited thinking about Spring Planting! In order to have a happy healthy tree it is best to put plenty of thought into tree selection and placement. Our friends over at Tree are Good provide detailed educational brochures to help tree owners understand best management practices and to promote a greater awareness of the benefits that trees provide in our communities. The following article was taken from their tree selection pamplet. You can find it at: http://treesaregood.org/treecare/resources/TreeSelection.pdf

Tree Selection and Placement

Understand important issues in selecting a tree for planting, such as the tree’s intended function, location, common pests, geographic regions and hardiness zones, and considerations for best placement alternatives.

Tree selection and placement are two of the most important decisions a homeowner makes when landscaping a new home or replacing a tree. Many trees have the potential to outlive those who plant them, so the impact of this decision can last a lifetime. Matching the tree to the site benefits both the tree and the homeowner.

One of the most common tree care questions is: “Which kind of tree should I plant?” Before this question can be answered, a number of factors need to be considered:

• Why is the tree being planted? What functions will it serve?
• Is a small, medium, or large tree best suited for the location and available space? Do overhead or belowground utilities preclude planting a large, growing tree — or any tree at all? What clearance is needed for sidewalks, patios, or driveways?
• What are the soil conditions? Is enough soil available of sufficient quality to support mature tree growth?
• How will necessary maintenance be provided? Will someone water, fertilize, and prune the tree as needed after planting?

Answering these and other questions can help you choose the “right tree for the right place.”

Tree Function

Large, healthy trees increase property values and make outdoor surroundings more pleasant. A deciduous shade tree that loses leaves in fall provides cooling relief from summer’s heat while allowing the winter sun to warm a home. An ornamental tree displays beautiful flowers, leaves, bark, or fruit. Evergreens with dense, persistent foliage can provide a windbreak or a screen for privacy. A tree or shrub that produces fruit can provide food for the owner or wildlife. Street trees decrease the glare from pavement, reduce runoff, filter out pollutants, and add oxygen to the air we breathe. Street trees also improve the overall appearance and quality of life in a city or neighborhood.

Form and Size

A basic principle of modern architecture is “form follows function.” Selecting the right form (shape) to complement the desired function (what you want the tree to do) can significantly reduce maintenance costs and increase the tree’s value in the landscape. In addition, mature tree size determines the level of benefits received. Larger trees typically provide the greatest economic and environmental returns.

Depending on site restrictions, you can choose from hundreds of form and size combinations. A low, spreading tree may be planted under overhead utility lines. A narrow, columnar evergreen may provide a screen between two buildings. Large, vase-shaped trees can create an arbor over a driveway or city street.

Site Conditions

Selecting a tree that will thrive in a given set of site conditions is the key to long-term tree survival and reduced maintenance. Consider the following when selecting a tree:

• soil conditions
• exposure (sun and wind)
• drainage
• space constraints
• hardiness zone
• human activity
• insect and disease susceptibility

Soil Conditions

In dense urban areas and new subdivisions, soil is often disturbed, shallow, compacted, and subject to drought. Most trees will suffer in these conditions without additional care. An arborist can take soil samples from your yard to test for texture, fertility, salinity, and pH (alkalinity or acidity). These tests can be used to determine which trees are suited for your property and may include recommendations for improving poor soil conditions


The amount of sunlight available will affect tree and shrub species selection for a particular location. Most woody plants require full sunlight for proper growth and flowering. Some do well in, or even prefer, light shade; however, few species perform well in dense shade. Wind exposure is also a consideration. Wind can dry out soils, damage tree crowns, and uproot newly planted trees. Special maintenance, such as staking or more frequent watering, may be necessary to establish young trees on windy sites


Tree roots require oxygen to develop and thrive. Poor drainage limits oxygen availability to the roots and may ultimately kill the tree. If drainage is an issue on your property, ask a local arborist about what can be done to correct the problem.


Hardiness is the plant’s ability to survive in the extreme temperatures of the particular geographic region in which you are planting the tree. Plants can be cold hardy, heat tolerant, or both. Most plant reference books provide a map of hardiness zone ranges. Check with your local garden center for the hardiness information for your region.

Space Constraints

Many different factors can limit the planting space available to the tree: overhead or underground utilities, pavement, buildings, other trees, visibility. The list goes on and on. Make sure there is adequate room for the tree you select to grow to maturity, both above and below ground.

Human Activity

Often an overlooked aspect of tree selection, the reality is that the top five causes of tree death result from things people do. Soil compaction, underwatering, overwatering, vandalism, and the number one cause — planting the wrong tree — account for more tree deaths than all insect- and disease-related tree deaths combined.

Pest Problems

Every plant has its particular pest problems, and the severity varies geographically. These pests may or may not be life threatening to the plant, but selecting trees resistant to pest problems specific to your area is the best choice. Your local ISA Certified Arborist, tree consultant, or extension agent can direct you to information relevant to problem species for your location.

Species Selection

Personal preferences and site constraints play major roles in the selection process. Taking into consideration the factors listed above, you can help ensure the tree you plant grows and functions as desired. Remember, the beautiful, mature specimen trees you see in historic neighborhoods and in landscape photography would never have reached their full potential if planted in improperly matched sites.


©2011 (1998, 2004) International Society of Arboriculture. Developed by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), a non-profit organization supporting tree care research around the world and dedicated to the care and preservation of shade and ornamental trees. For further information, contact: ISA, P.O. Box 3129, Champaign, IL 61826-3129, USA. E-mail inquiries: [email protected]


Wood Recycling – Springfield, MO

Wood Recycling in Springfield MO

Wood is one of the most valuable recyclable materials because it can be transformed into a wide variety of secondary products. All About Trees has a 100% recycle policy on our wood waste from tree removal and tree trimming. We are happy to give away our wood chips to people who can use them, if they have a convenient place to dump a truck full of them. Many of our chips are donated and used in the local tree nurseries.

Many tree services dump their wood and brush into a pile and burn it to dispose of it. At All About Trees, our logs and brush from tree pruning and tree removals are hauled to a site where they are ground into mulch or compost.

This practice costs more in transportation and disposal fees, but we feel the satisfaction of knowing that our wood waste will continue to be used in a practical and environmentally friendly way, and will eventually break down into biological matter.

Recently, we started an exciting new way to recycle wood. We cut down a bunch of old Oak trees and used our new mill to turn those Oak logs into something useful. When we got done we left our customers with a large pile of freshly milled Oak lumber.


Reuse and Recycle!

avoid removing healthy trees

Structural Pruning Young Trees

Structural pruning is a type of pruning typically performed on young to middle-aged trees. The objective is to create a strong and healthy structure so that trees are sturdier under wind and less prone to failures. Structural pruning helps trees live full and useful lives.

Posted by All About Trees on Monday, January 16, 2017

Earlier this week, Noel lead a crew at Drury University and decided to use the job site as a chance to teach us all some tree knowledge and give us a view from the sky! Thank you, Noel!

As you can see in the video above, the crew’s work for the day consisted of hazard pruning some big older trees and structural pruning some younger trees. Jacob, one of our arborists, climbed a Maple tree to reduce co-dominate leads. He also worked out a Willow Oak. The Willow Oak had 3 leads competing for the top. Structural pruning helps eliminate this issue. Noel climbed a Willow Oak as well. He structurally pruned the tree to create one dominant leader. There used to be 6 leads! In order to make the remaining lead boss, Noel reduced the other 5 leads. These co-dominate issues should have been taken care of years ago.  Noel also climbed an old Sweet Gum tree that was encroaching into the Willow Oak. The goal was to make a little more room for the next generation of trees.

There are three basic steps to developing and maintaining a dominant leader. The first step is to identify the stem that will make the best dominant trunk. It should be in the center of the crown, and free of cracks, openings, mechanical damage, large pruning wounds, cankers, or other defects that could compromise its strength. The second step is to identify the stems and branches that are competing with this stem. The last step is to remove competing stems and branches back to the trunk, or subordinate by shortening them with a reduction cut. Be sure to remove branches that are clustered together and growing from the same point on the trunk. Ideally, only one large branch grows from one position on the trunk.

Our arborists have years of experience and can help determine if any of your young trees need structural pruning. Call us at (417)863-6214 for a free estimate!

Tree Work

NEVER Pre-Pay for Tree Work!

NEVER pre-pay for tree work of any kind! I just can’t believe that this is the 4th or 5th story to make the news this year on people getting ripped off by fly-by-night tree service companies in Springfield. At All About Trees, we strongly recommend to never pre-pay for tree work. With nearly all of our jobs, we require payment upon completion of the work. Be wary of any tree care company that requires pre-payment.

Click here to read an example:

Why Hire an Arborist:
An arborist is an individual trained in the art and science of planting, caring for, and maintaining individual trees. Arborists are knowledgeable about the needs of trees and are trained and equipped to provide proper care. Hiring a tree doctor is a decision that should not be taken lightly.

Proper tree care is an investment that can lead to substantial returns. Well-cared-for trees are attractive and can add considerable value to your property. Poorly maintained trees can be a significant liability, as they are prone to breakage, disease, and failure. This can lead to significant property damage in the event of a storm. Pruning or removing trees, especially large trees, can be dangerous work. Tree work should be done only by those trained and equipped to work safely in trees!

We have two ISA Board Certified Master Arborists, as well as seven Certified Arborists. We will be able to get your tree work done safely and efficiently, to improve the quality of your yard.

To view a full list of our services, please go to https://allabouttrees.com/tree-services-tree-trimmers-springfield-mo/ 

If you would like to schedule an estimate, please give the office a call at 417-863-6214. If you miss us, please leave us a detailed voicemail message with your name, address, phone number, email, and tree concerns. We will get back to you as soon as possible.


Bradford Pear Removal


field full of invasive bradford pears

Field of invasive Bradford pears









When people ask me what to do about their overgrown Bradford pears, I always say, “Cut it down and put a better tree here!”. Here are some of the reasons why:


Bradford pears, also called Callery pears, are an invasive species within the United States. They were introduced from China and Vietnam in 1964 as a fast-growing ornamental species. Due to this, they were quickly adopted by landscapers and gardeners. However, what they did not know at the time is that Bradford pears are incredibly invasive. After decades of widespread planting of this tree, we are still feeling the effects. The pears strangle out native trees and plant life, which is devastating to the ecosystem.

If you would like to know more about our tree removal services, click here.

All About Trees is a locally owned, full-service tree care company in Springfield MO serving a 20-mile radius around the Springfield area.  We offer many services, including tree pruning and trimming, tree removal, planting, stump grinding, cabling and bracing, shrub trimming, and consultation.  All About Trees is caring for Springfield’s urban forest, one tree at a time.

Business Email:
[email protected]
Mon – Fri:  8am – 4pm


Selecting Native Trees for Missouri

Many homeowners are discovering the benefits of planting native trees and plants. Native plants include all kinds of plants from mosses and ferns to wildflowers, shrubs, and trees. Native plants occur naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, or habitat without direct or indirect human intervention. Restoring native plant habitat is vital to preserving biodiversity. There are also many other reasons to embrace the use of Missouri’s wonderful native plants.

A Few Examples of Native Plant Benefits:

  • Supports native animals: birds, bats, possums, bees and snails and other wildlife!
  • Improves water quality.
  • Prevents soil erosion.
  • Provides clean fresh air.
  • Secures our food resources: around one-third of our food comes from plants that rely on native pollinators such as insects!
  • Native plants are adapted to local environmental conditions, they require far less water, saving time, money, and perhaps the most valuable natural resource, water.

Local native plants have adapted over a long period of time to the specific conditions here in Missouri. They are best adapted to grow in these local conditions and will be more likely to thrive than plants from a different region.

Native Trees for Missouri Landscapes:

  • Red Cedar
  • Short-leaf Pine
  • Boxelder
  • Red Maple
  • Silver Maple
  • Sugar Maple
  • Ohio Buckeye
  • Pawpaw
  • River Birch
  • American Hornbeam
  • Hardy Pecan
  • Shellbark Hickory
  • American Chestnut
  • Catalpa
  • Sugarberry
  • Hackberry
  • Fringe Tree
  • Yellowwood
  • Flowering Dogwood
  • Cockspur Thorn
  • Washington Hawthorn
  • Green Hawthorn
  • Persimmon
  • Honey Locust
  • Kentucky Coffee Tree
  • Black Walnut
  • Sweet Gum
  • Tulip Tree
  • Osage Orange
  • Cucumber Magnolia Tree
  • Red Mulberry
  • Black Gum
  • Eastern Hop Hornbeam
  • American Sycamore
  • Eastern Cottonwood
  • Wild Plum
  • Black Cherry
  • White Oak
  • Swamp White Oak
  • Shingle Oak
  • Bur Oak
  • Pin Oak
  • Willow Oak
  • Red Oak
  • Post Oak
  • Black Locust
  • Sassafras
  • Bald Cypress
  • American Linden
  • American Elm

For more information on native trees visit www.missouribotanicalgarden.org or www.grownative.org

All About Trees is caring for Springfield’s urban forest, one tree at a time.

All About Trees

Topping is NOT an Acceptable Pruning Technique!

tree topping









Topping is NOT an acceptable pruning technique and we love to educate our customers as to why topping does not reduce future risk of damage to property. In fact, topping will increase risk in the long term. Some homeowners and unprofessional tree services practice topping whenever trees reach an undesirable height. However, topping is not an acceptable pruning technique.

How does topping damage trees?

  • Topping Stresses Trees
    • Topping reduces food-making capacity.
    • Topping stimulates undesirable “water sprout” growth.
    • Topping leaves large wounds
  • Topping Leads to Decay
    • The branch wounds left from topping are slow to close, therefore more vulnerable to insect attacks and fungal decay.
  • Topping Can Lead to Sunburn
    • Increased sun exposure on trunk and branches can lead to severe bark damage
  • Topping Can Lead to Unacceptable Risk
    • Weakened stubs are more prone to wind and storm breakage because they generally begin to die back or decay.
  • Topping Makes Trees Ugly
    • Ugly branch stubs, conspicuous pruning cuts, and a broom-like branch growth replace natural beauty and form.
  • Topping Is Expensive
    • Increased maintenance costs.
    • Reduced property value. Healthy, well-maintained trees can add 10 to 20 percent to the value of a property. Disfigured, topped trees are considered an impending expense.
    • Increased liability potential

Want to learn more about proper tree pruning? Check out our articles on young tree structural pruning, mature tree pruning, and/or crown restoration!


Image source: Carrroll, Jackie. “Tree Topping Information – Does Tree Topping Hurt Trees?” Gardening Know How, 2021, www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/tgen/tree-topping-information.html 

“Tree Owner Information.” Trees Are Good. International Society of Arboriculture, n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.


New Tree

Tree Planting – How To Care For Your New Tree

All About Trees Square LogoHOW TO CARE FOR YOUR NEW TREE:

  • Water the tree, slowly, and deeply. It’s best to let water trickle very slowly onto the tree roots, so it doesn’t create a puddle. Let a hose drip at the lowest setting for an hour, or use a 5-gallon bucket with small nail holes in the bottom. Make sure the soil is moist, but not saturated. Once a week is plenty in the winter, but you may have to water more in the summer or periods of drought.
  • Keep the tree pit or tree lawn tidy. Ongoing: remove weeds, grass, and debris from the base of the tree. Annually: Gently loosen the soil to allow more water and oxygen to penetrate through the top three inches of soil. This is where most of the tree’s root hairs are and how the tree absorbs water and nutrients.
  • Mulch your tree. Newly planted trees need to be mulched. If it washes or blows away, add mulch. Cover the tree planting area with a couple inches of mulch, as wide as the outer dripline, if possible. Remember not to pile mulch against the trunk; expose the trunk root flare. This prevents moisture and insects from accumulating around the bark.
  • Keep dogs and cats from relieving themselves in the tree pit, if possible. Dog and cat urine and feces are very alkaline and can harm roots.
  • DON’T feed your newly planted tree or fertilize during a drought. Forcing a water-stressed tree to grow will only cause further stress. Also, granular chemical fertilizer is a salt that could dehydrate the tree.
  • DON’T prune heavily except to remove dead, diseased, or damaged branches. Removing more than one third of healthy branches will substantially weaken the tree. Never “top” your tree!
  • Protect the tree. You may want to install tree pit guards, bollards, or other obstacles to keep your tree from being damaged by car doors, bicycles, dogs, etc. Trunk wounds can invite disease and weaken the tree.

Now that you know how to care for your new tree, you’ll be able to enjoy your tree for years to come! If you are having difficulty with your new tree, please give us a call at 417-863-6214 to set up an estimate. We would be more than happy to help you take proper care of your trees! We are a tree service, after all. To view a full list of our services, please visit https://allabouttrees.com/tree-services-tree-trimmers-springfield-mo/

For even more information on how to care for your new tree, please visit https://www.arborday.org/trees/tips/


Tree Planting Around Utilities

Tree planting season is upon us and planning before planting can ensure our trees here in Springfield, MO will thrive for years to come. While we have been busy making our tree planting list, we thought we would help remind our customers of how important it is to plant the right tree in the right place. Basic knowledge of proper tree care helps individual tree owners understand the quality of care necessary for the health of their trees. The following article, from a treesaregood.org brochure, provides great tips for tree planting around utilities.

To view the PDF in its entirety: http://treesaregood.org/treecare/resources/Avoiding_Conflicts.pdf


Avoiding Tree Planting & Utility Conflicts

Many factors should be considered prior to planting. Here are some helpful hints for tree planting around utilities.

Determining where to plant a tree is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Many factors should be considered prior to planting. When planning what type of tree to plant, remember to look up and look down to determine where the tree will be located in relation to overhead and underground utility lines.

Often, we take utility services for granted, because they have become a part of our daily lives. To ensure us the benefits of reliable, uninterrupted service, distribution systems are required to bring utilities into our homes. These services arrive at our homes through overhead or underground lines.
Overhead lines carry electricity, data, and communications. Underground utility lines may also carry those mentioned, plus water, sewer, and natural gas.
The location of these lines should have a direct impact on your tree and planting site selection. The ultimate mature height and spread of a tree must fit within the available growing space beneath and alongside the lines. Just as important, the soil area must be large enough to accommodate the particular rooting habits and an ultimate trunk diameter of the tree. Proper tree and site selection can provide trouble-free beauty and pleasure for years to come.

Overhead Lines
Overhead utility lines are easy to spot, yet often overlooked. Although these lines look harmless enough, they can be extremely dangerous. Planting tall-growing trees under or near these lines eventually require your utility provider to prune them to maintain safe clearance from the wires. This pruning may result in the tree having an unnatural appearance. Periodic pruning can also lead to a shortened life span for the tree. Trees that must be pruned away from power lines are under greater stress and are more susceptible to insects and disease. Small, immature trees planted today that have the potential to grow into overhead lines can become problem trees in the future.
Tall-growing trees near overhead lines can cause service interruptions when trees contact wires. Children or adults climbing in these trees can be severely injured or even killed if they come in contact with the wires. Proper selection and placement of trees in and around overhead utilities can eliminate potential public safety hazards, reduce expenses for utilities and their customers, and improve landscape appearance.

Underground Lines
Trees consist of much more than what you see above ground. Many times, the root area below ground is larger than the branch spread. Many of the utility services provided today run below ground. Tree roots and underground lines often coexist without problems.
However, trees planted near underground lines could have their roots damaged if the lines are dug up for repair.
The greatest danger to underground lines occurs during planting. Before you plant, make sure that you are aware of the location of any underground utilities. To be certain that you do not accidentally dig into any lines and risk serious injury or a costly service interruption, call your utility company or utility locator service first. Never assume that these utility lines are buried deeper than you plan to dig. In some cases, utility lines are very close to the surface. Locating underground utilities before digging is often required by law.

Tall Zones
Trees that grow 60 feet (20 meters) or taller can be used in the area marked “Tall Zone.” Plant large trees at least 35 feet (11 meters) away from the house for proper root development and to minimize damage to the building(s). These large-growing trees can be planted on streets without overhead restrictions if planting space is sufficient. Street planting sites should be greater than 8 feet (3 meters) and allow for a large root system, trunk diameter, and trunk flare.
Large trees are also recommended for parks, meadows, or other open areas where their large size, both above and below ground, will not be restricted, cause damage, or become a liability.

Medium Zones
Medium-sized trees that grow up to 40 feet (12 meters) tall are often used to frame or soften the appearance of structures or create a park-like setting. Appropriate soil spaces are wide planting areas or medians [4 to 8 feet (1 to 3 meters) wide], large planting squares [8 feet (3 meters) square or greater], and other open areas of similar size or larger.

Low Zones
This zone extends 15 feet (4.5 meters) on either side of the wires. Trees with a mature height of fewer than 20 feet (6 meters)
may be planted anywhere within this zone, including street tree plantings under utility lines. Such trees are also recommended
where soil volumes are too limited to support tall or medium zone trees.

Some Further Suggestions
Plant evergreen trees in the path of prevailing winter winds to serve as windbreaks. Plantings should be approximately 50 feet (15 meters)
or more from the house.
Plant deciduous trees (those that drop their leaves in the fall) to maximize shading in the summer. In winter, the bare canopies will allow
sunlight to reach the house.

Right Tree–Right Place
Planning before planting can help ensure that the right tree is planted in the right place. Proper tree selection and placement enhance your property value and prevent costly maintenance trimming and damage to your home. For further information on planting and helpful tips
on tree selection, refer to ISA’s brochures on tree selection and new tree planting. If you have any more questions, please contact your local
ISA Certified Arborist or tree care professional, utility company, local nursery, or county extension office.

©2011 (1998, 2004) International Society of Arboriculture.

Developed by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), a non-profit organization supporting tree care research around the world and dedicated to the care and preservation of shade and ornamental trees.

For further information, contact: ISA, P.O. Box 3129, Champaign, IL 61826-3129, USA.

E-mail inquiries: [email protected]

Works Cited:

“Avoiding Tree & Utility Conflicts.” Trees Are Good. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.

While you are planning your tree planting, why don’t you consider planting native Missouri trees! Click here to view a list of wonderful Missouri trees to make your yard look beautiful. 


Our Most Valuable Asset

We were recently asked what our most valuable asset is as a tree service company. This was meant to be a trick question. Our mind first went to our physical assets: trucks and equipment. But we knew that wasn’t the right answer. Our next thought was our reputation, that we have worked hard and fought for, for so many years. But that wasn’t the right answer, either.

The biggest asset in our tree service company, and many other successful companies, is our people. Our team. Our work family.

We are proud to have nine Certified Arborists in our company. Men and women who love trees and really care about making the best decisions for our customers’ trees. We are proud to spend many of our weekends together as a work family, going to tree climbing competitions, or just hanging out at the river.

When All About Trees is caring for your part of Springfield’s urban forest, we hope you will take the time to meet our most valuable asset.

To view a list of our certified arborists on staff, please visit https://allabouttrees.com/about-arborist-springfield-mo/certified-arborists-springfield-mo/

Leave us a review! http://goo.gl/9trWh6

To schedule an estimate, please give the office a call at 417-863-6214. If you miss us, please leave us a detailed voicemail message with your name, address, phone number, email, and tree concerns. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

All About Trees - Our Most Valuable Asset