27 Nov 2019

Top Poisonous Trees To Avoid

Trees can be Mother Nature’s most lethal weapons. They may be disguised with ordinary leaves and branches, yet armed with deadly poison. Learn about the most dangerous ones by checking out the five top poisonous trees to avoid.

1. The Manchineel Tree

The Manchineel tree has the dubious honor of holding the Guinness World Record for World’s Most Dangerous Tree.

The Manchineel has leaves that are covered in caustic sap so poisonous that the slightest skin contact could cause an eruption of agonizing blisters.

It’s dangerous to even inhale the air around the tree. A single bite of its apple-like fruit may also cause blistering, horrific pain and even death. <i>All</i> parts of the Manchineel are extraordinarily poisonous.

2. Sandbox Tree

The sandbox tree is considered to be one of the world’s most lethal trees. About 130 feet tall and covered with spikes that resemble a Medieval torture device, the sandbox tree’s fruit looks like cute little pumpkins.

However, once they dry into seed capsules, they turn into dangerous grenades. The capsules detonate with a loud bang and shoot the seeds at speeds up to 150 miles per hour and distances of more than 60 feet. This shrapnel can seriously injure anyone in its path.

The sandbox tree also has sap that can trigger a searing rash and can cause blindness.

3. The Suicide Tree

The suicide tree’s highly toxic seed has been used in more suicides than any other plant in the world. The seed, which is often undetected by pathologists and coroners, has also been used in countless murders. Its taste can be easily concealed from victims with sugar or spices.

Indigenous to India and Southeast Asia, the suicide tree contains a substance called <a href=”https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1752928X18302762″>cerberin</a>, which is astonishingly toxic at low doses and stops the heart. This is why many cerberin poisonings are often written off as heart attacks.

4. Hemlock Tree

Poison hemlock is notorious for Socrates execution in 399 BC. It was widely used in ancient Greece for murder and suicide.

Every part of the hemlock tree is poisonous. Hemlock’s toxins are so powerful that people have died after eating game birds that ingested the seeds. Hemlock’s leaves have a distinctive musty smell.

Hemlock’s stems are smooth and spotted with red and purple, and their leaves resemble fern fronds. Its clusters of small, white flowers are deceptively beautiful.

5. Gympie Gympie Tree

The Gympie Gympie tree’s cute name belies its ability to inflict excruciating pain via tiny stinging hairs. Entomologist and ecologist, <a href=”https://theconversation.com/profiles/marina-hurley-5537″>Marina Hurley</a>, of the University of New South Wales, described its sting as feeling like “being burnt with hot acid and electrocuted at the same time.”

Some people have committed suicide because the pain was unbearable. The plant is so vicious that the <a href=”https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36606510″>Chemical Defense Establishment at Porton Down</a> was allegedly studying it for use as a military weapon.

The pain from a gympie gympie tree may reoccur for months or years after being stung.

Plants sustain all of the earth’s life forms. They are beautiful and wonderful creations. However, if you’re a tree-hugger, you might just want to reconsider. Or reach out to our qualified Portland tree service experts

01 Nov 2019

Types of Pine Trees You Should Know

Pine trees are widespread across the U.S. where many types are natives. But the U.S is by no means the only country where pine trees are available in quantity and in a wide variety of types. Pine trees are conifers.

Asia is home to some pine trees, such as the Chir, Pinus roxburghii, pine. Austria claims the Black pine, Pinus nigra as one of its most important trees. A pine tree is an evergreen conifer and is labeled in the genus Pinus.


The pine family is called Pinaceae. Pinus is the only genus in the subfamily of Pinoideae. World-wide plant lists compiled by Missouri Botanical Gardens and the Royal Botanic Gardens, currently list 126 verified names of pines in addition to 35 unresolved species.

Pine trees are widespread ornamental landscape specimens. Many were and are used for lumber. The Eastern White Pine, Pinus strobus, is among the most common and well-known. It originates in the U.S. The White Pine is a rapid grower with a long life-span.

Other Pines Found Around the World

Aleppo Pinus, Halepensis pine, Found throughout the Mediterranean area, naturalized as an ornamental in California and southern Australia. Twisted, poor quality wood exists today due to over-forestation.

Lodgepole Pine, Pinus contorta, grows near North American oceans and in forests on dry mountains. It may also grow in bogs.

Mugo Pine, Pinus mugo, is a cousin to the white pine, a miniaturized version that often has a rounded shape. There are several varieties, often they are creeping shrubs.

Bristlecone pine, Pinus aristata A long-lived species, including Pinus longaeva, among the most long-lasting forms of life on the planet. Some of the species are older than 5000 years.

Monterey pine, Pinus radiata, native to the West coast of the U.S. with a thick trunk and branches, it reaches heights of 80 to 100 feet. It is best suited to warmer locations.

Sugar Pine, Pinus lambertiana, the tallest and most spreading of the pines, with the longest cones of all the pines. Also native to Ca.

Coulter Pine, Pinus coulteri, A California native, growing more to the south, but growing as far north as the San Francisco bay.

Single leaf Pinyon Pine, Pinus monophyla. This type extends from Eastern and Southern California to Idaho and Utah. The only pine that bears a single needle in each fascicle.

Ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa, Bark turns from black to yellow with age. A large, unbroken swath of the trees rung from California, through Arizona to New Mexico. Widely distributed species
Canary Island Pine Pinus canariensis, Large, durable and sturdy, this pine has a parasol-like canopy. Valuable, aromatic lumber from this pine. Doesn’t grow in cold areas. A native of Spain. Call our expert tree service company to check what pine tree you have.


23 Sep 2019

How to Rot a Tree Stump 2019

If you’ve recently had a tree cut down in your yard, you were probably left with the stump of that tree. Although perfectly harmless, stumps can be an eyesore, or they might be causing a disruption in your smooth lawn. Left alone, the stump will eventually rot on its own and compost into the dirt, but it can take years for nature to break everything down. These tips will help you speed up the process and have that stump gone in no time.

1. Water:

As most people probably know, moisture is what causes rotting in the first place. The safest and cleanest option to rot your stump is to soak it in plenty of water. Cut the stump as low to the ground as possible, then drill large holes into it. This will allow more water to penetrate inside. Next, fill the holes and flood the surrounding area with plenty of water. Place a tarp or large piece of plastic over the stump and ground around it. To trap the moisture inside the tarp, place rocks or wet mulch over the top. Wet mulch is the best option because it will help trap even more water underneath your cover. While this method isn’t the fastest, it will still speed up the natural process of decay.

2. Epsom Salt:

This method is a little faster than water but still relatively safe and non-toxic for plants. Repeat the same steps as above, but before flooding the stump with water, pour Epsom salts into the holes you drilled in the wood. The salts will help draw water from the surrounding soil into the stump, allowing it to rot even faster than with just plain water. Epsom salt can be purchased at most drug or grocery stores for relatively cheap, making this a cost-effective method.

3. Nitrogen Fertilizer:

if you are still looking for the fastest way to rot a stump, this is definitely your best bet. Fertilizers high in nitrogen aren’t the most environmentally friendly products, so use this only as your last resort. Just like with the Epsom salt process, fill the holes with a generous amount of fertilizer. The high levels of nitrogen nourish the growth of plants and fungi, which will quickly overtake the stump, and use its decay to flourish. Pretty soon, your stump will disappear, and you’ll be left with a wild little patch of new growth. This will be much easier to remove (or you can leave it if you like the self-cultivated garden), and then your lawn will be back to lush, green smoothness. Give our Tree Service Experts a call for a free consultation

22 Jul 2019

Top 7 Ways To Manage Your Tree Roots

Trees add significant value to cities, neighborhoods, and homes. Research shows that trees can enhance the image and attractiveness of a property, which is why your approach to developing it should give priority to preservation of the existing trees. Cutting down trees should be done only as a last resort.

Tree roots, on the other hand, are a completely different story. Roots of certain trees can penetrate and compromise sewer systems and pipelines. They can lift driveways and walkways as well as even topple walls and entire structures.

Fortunately, there are many different ways to manage your roots without the need to cut down the whole tree. Here are the top 7 ways to deal with tree roots:

1. Mechanically Cutting the Tree Roots

Using a mechanical auger is one of the most common techniques used to deal with tree roots. It is a mechanical approach that involves sending a powered auger down a sewer line. It has a rotating head that’s covered in teeth and the rotating action cuts and clears roots.

2. Using Mulch

If you have exposed roots in your yard, you can try applying mulch – preferably wood chips – underneath your tree. Doing this helps level out the area while keeping the roots cool and moist and allowing them to breathe. However, avoid putting more than 4-inches of mulch.

3. Root Barriers

Root barriers are steel or plastic membranes used to physically present roots from growing beyond the barrier line. They are particularly effective, especially if installed proactively when the tree is still young and roots don’t require pruning.

4. Chemical Control

You can use certain chemicals to kill off roots that grow beyond their bounds. For instance, copper sulfate crystals can be highly effective for this. The copper creates a “poison” zone in the soil around the structure you want to protect from the evasive roots.

5. Air Gaps

You can also control root growth effectively by creating a “dry” zone between the tree that has invasive roots and the structure you wish to protect. The zone is excavated and filled using materials that dry fast, should have very large pores filled with water, are impermeable to root penetration, and have poor water holding capacity.

6. Baiting

Roots naturally grow towards areas with healthy and moist soils. Baiting refers to providing these ideal growth conditions in an area away from the structure you want to protect. The process is at times not completely practical, but it can become workable under special in-ground containerization.

7. Using a Hydro Jetter

Using a hydro jetter is an effective but possibly expensive way to clear tree roots from sewer lines. The machine uses pressurized water and a pump. Once the hydro jetter has finished doing its job, you can flush your sewer line with a chemical to get rid of roots that might still be present.

Final Thoughts

Trees add value to a property, but their roots can definitely be a nuisance. If you want to get rid of tree roots effectively without cutting down the tree, try any of the methods discussed here. If you don’t know how to deal with trees or their roots, call our certified Portland Tree Service experts

08 May 2019

4 Reasons for Summer Tree Pruning

4 reasons for Summer Tree Pruning Portland Oregon
4 reasons for Summer Tree Pruning Portland Oregon

Even though most people prefer to do their pruning around winter time, performing tree pruning during summer does have its benefits, especially for fruit trees and trees that need damage control.  Also instead of being out in the cold trying to shape a tree most people tend to enjoy their tree pruning during the better weather months that we have in Portland, OR.

Here are 4 reasons to keep in mind during tree trimming and pruning during the summer months.  Keep in mind that each situation can be unique so feel free to talk to our Portland Arborist in order to help with their experience and tips.

Benefits of Tree Pruning During the Summer Months

  1. Benefits the Growth of Fruit Trees - Fruit trees are the trees that benefit the most from Summer Pruning.  Cutting branches and leaves that aren’t needed will inherently let more sunlight to infiltrate and hit the branches that need more development.  Portland tree pruning done the right way can also benefit trees to grow bigger fruit of better quality.  As we know trees are living and breathing so less wasted resources on branches that bring no benefit means more air and light to the healthy parts of the tree. It is highly recommended to prune cherry and apricot trees during the late summer months of July and August because if trimming is done during the rainy season then it increases the chances of these types to contract diseases.  Plum, Nectarine, and Peach trees also receive benefits from summer time pruning. These tend to grow quickly and tall fast but often don’t provide the proper development of strong branches. Pruning them during the summer can increase the growth of sturdy limbs and leave you with better quality fruit.  It's always good to speak with a Portland tree pruning specialist to help you with your specific fruit tree.
  2. Get Rid of Dead Branches - Tree pruning during the summer is vital because it leaves us with the advantage of being able to remove diseased, dying, or damaged tree branches.  Keep in mind that the point of removing a damaged tree limb is to keep it from causing further damage to the rest of your tree. By getting rid of the dying limbs we increase the resources that will go towards better growth.  We also reduce the chance of the dying branch falling off and potentially causing damage to you, your family or property by anticipating controlling when it comes off by cutting it off ourselves.
  3. Prevent Pest Invasion - Preventing a pest invasion would be the only benefit on its own in order to encourage someone to do summer tree pruning. We need to identify any limbs or fruit that have signs of pest bites or damage and remove them in order to protect the rest of the healthy tree.  You are also preventing pests from invading the rest of your fruit trees leaving you with quality and scrumptious fruit for you and your family to enjoy. Also it is very important to dispose of these pest invaded branches and fruits far away so that the pests aren’t free to comeback in infest your tree again, please do not compost them on your property.
  4. Increased Growth -  Another benefit of pruning during the summer is that it is during a time of growth.  Our Portland Arborists recommends that the proper way to prune weak branch growth by pruning 3 inches from the end of each leafy shoot.  It’s recommended to repeat the pruning process after a few months if there is fast shoot growth occurring.

Summer Time Tree Pruning: Things to Consider

Tree Pruning during the Summer time is mostly to help give the tree a solid base and to shape it up since it's easier to give it shape while the leaves are out as opposed to winter time pruning.  Although during the winter time it is better to do a more extensive pruning because it puts less stress on the tree. Keep in mind that if you are going to be trimming off some limbs it is best to do it during the early summer, this way it has time to heal.  If you do it too late in the season then the tree becomes at risk for water damage and with water comes a higher chance of fungi and diseases developing.

If you still have not decided if or when to prune or how much to cut or which limbs to cut you can always contact us here at R&H Tree Service. We are a professional and reputable Portland Tree Pruning Company.