Q: Who owns the tree in front of my house?

A: That depends on where the public right-of way extends. In areas where there is a defined planting strip between the curb and sidewalk, the City, County or State may own the tree. It is best to call and ask the local government entity if you are unsure.

Q: What are some examples of fast growing trees?

A: Typically fast growing trees like Cottonwoods and Willows are not the best trees to plant. Though these trees do grow faster than most other species, they are weak wooded, grow very large, and have invasive root systems. It is best to choose a tree that fits the growing space of the site and give it the proper care to maintain vigor and health. Refer to the Tree Selection section of the site for more information.

Q: How often should I water my tree?

A: This depends on the type of watering system you have, drip or spray, or if you are watering with a garden hose. Soil type also plays a role in determining how much water is held in the soil. In sandy soils, water drains quickly so trees need more frequent watering. The best way to find out if your tree is getting adequate water is to dig around the root area to a depth of about six-inches and see if the soil is moist. If it’s dry then increase the water amount and check again. Soil should be moist but not soaking wet. Remember, too much water is just as bad as too little. Refer to our Watering section at this site for more information.

Q: When is the best time to prune my tree?

A: After the leaves drop in the fall is the ideal time to prune. You can prune in the summer after the leaves are full to get a better idea of what limbs to remove. Dead limbs can be removed at any time. Check out our seasonal tree care guide and read more at our Pruning section.

Q: My tree is dripping sap, is it sick?

A: The tree may be sick with a disease or it may have a pest infestation. The best course of action in this case is to consult a Certified Arborist to properly diagnose the condition. Check out our Hiring an Arborist page and also visit our Pests & Disease page for more information.

Q: Roots from my neighbor’s tree are ruining my lawn, what can I do?

A: It is best to get the advice of a Certified Arborist before cutting any roots and then discuss any recommendations with your neighbor.

Q: Do I need to water my tree in the winter?

A: During long dry and warm spells it is good to give your trees a healthy soaking with a hose. Conifer trees with windy exposures and sandy soils need to be watered several times throughout the winter. Visit the Winter Watering section of our site for more information.

Q: My Pine tree has brown needles, is it dying?

A: Not necessarily. Pines continually shed their inner needles each year depending on the species. If the current year’s needles as well as the inner needles are brown, then there is likely a problem. The problem can be a watering issue (link), girdling root (link), insect (link), an herbicide issue or a combination of factors.

If you have a tree care question that doesn’t appear here, Ask An Arborist.

Discuss trees at the Arbor Day Message Board

The Arbor Day Message Board allows visitors to post questions and receive answers on various tree topics including:

  • Tree planting and care
  • Trees and the environment
  • Youth education
  • Tree identification
  • Arbor Day

The Tree Service Forum provides a similar online service.