Titan Tree Care Blog

This is the official blog of Titan Tree Care.

Titan Tree Care has two Certified Arborists on staff and over 50 years of tree health experience. Our staff works with the best, state of the art equipment and will tailor the most comprehensive solution for your trees.

Titan Tree Care

The Best Times to Plant a Tree in the Phoenix and Anthem Areas

Adding a tree (or several) to your property has many benefits. A fully-grown tree can provide shade to your yard, oxygen to the atmosphere, and can even reduce the air temperature around it. We’ve already covered topics concerning planting trees including: how deep you should plant , how wide the planting hole should be , whether or not to stake a tree , how to ensure you plant the right tree in the right place , and more. When you’re thinking of adding a new tree to your property, however, one of the first questions you may ask is “ when is the best time to plant a tree? ” The Phoenix and Anthem areas enjoy year-round sunshine, but several distinct seasons and varying weather conditions. In this article, we will cover the best time to plant a tree in the Phoenix and Anthem areas. We’ll also briefly discuss the...
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How Wide Should the Hole Be When Planting a Tree?

Did you know that many newly planted trees don’t survive because they are planted incorrectly? It may not seem too important, but it’s surprising how picky young trees can be about how and where they are planted. One of the most common issues with tree planting that we come across is trees being planted too deep. In fact, we wrote an entire blog post on how deep you should plant a tree . But, when you’re planting a tree, you not only need to focus on the depth but also the width of the planting hole . In this article, we go over everything you need to know to choose the best planting hole size for a young tree, including: how wide the hole should be (and why), what happens to a tree if the planting hole is not wide enough, what tree roots need and what they provide, and...
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How & When to Stake a Tree in Your Desert Landscape

Many times, when you come across a tree that has recently been planted here in the Phoenix or Anthem areas, you’ll also see a stake next to that tree, tied to the tree in various ways. We have previously written about how tree staking is not necessary for most trees , but what about those times when it is? In this article, we will go over situations where tree staking may be necessary, the proper way to stake a tree, and the correct materials to use. Situations Where Tree Staking May Be Needed In most cases, by the time you receive a tree from a nursery, it is large and strong enough to be planted on its own without staking. However, there are a few situations when staking a tree as it adjusts to its new location may be helpful – but only for a short time. The stake that...
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Why You Should NOT Top Your Trees

We’ve all seen trees that look like the top has been chopped off. Major branches have been cut off at random lengths, branch stubs are clearly visible, and most of the leaves are gone. If you’ve ever wondered why trees are “pruned” that way, keep reading for the real facts about tree topping. FAQs About Tree Topping While it’s a common sight in some neighborhoods, hacking the top off a tree is NOT a proper form of tree pruning. In fact, it’s the second most common cause of tree death! Below are common questions people have about topped trees, including why it’s done, how it affects trees, how to help topped trees recover, and what can be done instead if your tree is too large. What is tree topping? When trees are topped, it means that the entire top of a tree is removed. This extreme tree cutting method is...
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Creating a Pet-Friendly Landscape for your Phoenix-Area Yard

As all pet owners know, a yard is used by all members of the family – including the pets! Everyone benefits from time outdoors, and that’s no different for our furry, feathered, or scaly friends. While most families with a dog think of fences and those with a tortoise think of areas for their pet to burrow, there are several other considerations to keep in mind to keep your pets safe and to avoid costly veterinary bills. In this article, we will walk through some of the potential hazards that can be found on Phoenix-area properties, including: Spikes, thorns, and other painful parts of plants and trees, Toxic plants, trees, and seeds, Fertilizers and pesticides, Heat and weather dangers, Wild animals and other wildlife, And more! Spiky Plants, Trees, Cactus, and Seeds Can Injure Pets Most plants grown in the Southwest have some kind of spikes or thorns to protect...
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Trees, Shrubs, and Flowers to Add Winter Interest to Your Phoenix Yard

In other climates, the term “winter interest” often applies to trees with peeling bark, red berries that pop against white snow, or flowers that dry out and create compelling shapes in the landscape. In the Phoenix and Anthem areas, however, it can refer to almost any tree, plant, shrub, cactus, or palm. To narrow it down, we will focus on some trees, shrubs, plants, and wildflowers that provide color or distinction, or may otherwise catch your eye during the winter months. Trees for Winter Interest Changing Leaves We’ve already talked about how “fall” color usually reaches Phoenix during the winter months. (You can read more about that in this article ). Red, orange, yellow, and even some green leaves cover the trees in the Phoenix and Anthem areas during the winter months. One tree that demonstrates this very late “fall” color is the Red Push Pistache ( Pistacia ‘Red Push’)....
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How to Prevent Winter Tree & Plant Damage in Your Phoenix-Area Yard

Winter weather in Phoenix and Anthem can be pleasant, but there are some winter issues that can damage your trees and landscape plants. In this article, we walk through some common winter problems for trees, shrubs, and plants. Learn how winter weather occurrences such as frost, snow, and freezing temperatures can cause sunscald, desiccation, and other injuries to your landscape plants. Snow on Trees & Shrubs When you talk about “walking in a winter wonderland” in the Phoenix and Anthem areas, it really means that we have some beautiful, warm weather during the holiday season. Though there have been some (rare) occurrences of snow in the Phoenix area, snow usually only falls at higher elevations. However, it’s good to be prepared in case a rare snowfall occurs. Here’s what to know if we get a snowfall - If enough snow accumulates to coat your plants or trees, the weight of...
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Comparing and Contrasting Mulch and Rocks for Phoenix-Area Yards

A quick drive around the Phoenix or Anthem areas will show you that a majority of homes, residences, and buildings have some sort of rock in place of grass-based lawns. While using rock may be better for our area than grass, it not necessarily the most ideal option. In this article, we’ll compare and contrast using rocks or wood mulch as the basis for a Phoenix-area yard. Both have benefits and potential downfalls, and we will cover them here. What do we mean when we refer to “mulch”? In this article, mulch refers to organic wood chips that may include bark. In other instances, mulch can refer to a variety of materials, both organic and inorganic, including: Organic Mulches Grass clippings Compost Straw Peat moss Leaves Hay Pine needles Seaweed Alfalfa Inorganic Mulches Rubber Glass Plastic Landscape fabrics Rocks are also sometimes referred to as “rock mulch,” but in this...
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Caliche FAQs: Growing Trees and Plants in the Phoenix and Anthem Areas

  A guide to caliche soil, how it harms plants, and how to manage it so you can successfully grow trees and other plants in your Phoenix area yard. Caliche, an accumulation of calcium carbonate found in the ground throughout Southern Arizona, can be frustrating to deal with when you are trying to add new plants or trees to your property. The rock-like soil can be nearly impossible to dig through and has ruined many gardening tools, not to mention killed many plants that couldn’t survive in caliche-filled soil. In this article, we share the facts about caliche, explain how it affects plants (and planting), and give you our best tips for how to deal with it. Even if your property is filled with caliche, you CAN plant trees, shrubs, and other plants! What is caliche? Caliche is part of the soil composition in our part of Arizona, including in...
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What is Damaging my Tecoma Plants?

If there has been an active monsoon season (like there has been at the time of this article being written), you might have noticed that your tecoma plants may not look as healthy as they normally do. This is thanks to a caterpillar that will eventually become a moth, one that is very active in the Phoenix and Anthem areas after a significant amount of rainfall. In this article, we’ll cover: How to recognize if you have a tecoma plant, What symptoms to look for, Information on what is causing the damage, Some treatment options, And more! Do you have a Tecoma plant? There are four varieties of tecomas found in the Phoenix and Anthem areas, commonly known as “yellow bells” for the plants that produce yellow, bell-shaped flowers, and “orange jubilee” for the ones that have orange flowers. Tecoma stans Tecoma stans var. angustata – Arizona yellow bells, narrow...
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The Pros and Cons of Mesquite Trees

Mesquite trees are just as much a part of our desert environment as the iconic saguaro cactus, quail, coyotes, or any other symbol of life in the southwest. However, they certainly don’t get as much attention. Mesquite trees can either go unnoticed as a background tree not worthy of attention, or they can be a hotly contested topic – with points showing the benefits of mesquite trees, but also equal arguments against them. In this article, we will: introduce you to the mesquite trees most commonly found in the Phoenix and Anthem areas, share the benefits of adding a mesquite tree to your landscape, and go over some of the negative aspects of mesquite trees you may want to consider before planting. No matter your thoughts on whether a mesquite tree would work well for your property, they are a vital part of the desert ecosystem and an important tree...
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About Desert Ironwood: Spring Flowers, Uses, Growth & More

Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about ironwood trees, and specifically about their spring flowers. Many residents of Anthem and surrounding areas don’t recall ever seeing ironwood trees in bloom. That’s not unusual, but that’s also not the only unique thing about our native ironwood trees. In this article, we’ll cover some of the interesting facts about ironwood trees, whether you might want to add one to your property, all about their spring blooms, and more! What is the official name for ironwood trees? The official name for the trees we often call ironwoods is desert ironwood ( Olneya tesota ). It is also known as tesota and palo de hierro. How did the desert ironwood get its name? One reason may be that the wood of an ironwood tree is so dense that it cannot float in water. This dense wood also means that some of its...
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About Arizona’s State Tree: Palo Verde

The green-barked palo verde is one of the most prominent trees in the Phoenix area. It’s especially visible in spring when it puts on a beautiful display of bright yellow flowers. But did you know that the palo verde is also Arizona’s official state tree? Keep reading to find out how and why the palo verde was chosen as the Arizona state tree, the significance of state trees, whether our state tree grows elsewhere, and why the palo verde is unique. For more information about choosing, planting, and caring for palo verde trees in Arizona, see these articles on our website: Best Shade Trees for your Anthem or Greater Phoenix Yard Do Palo Verde Trees Make You Sneeze? The Best Spring Flowering Teres for the Anthem Area Which Palo Verde Tree is Best for your Phoenix-Area Yard? Are Palo Verde Borers Killing Your Trees? What’s Digging Holes Around my Palo...
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What’s Digging Holes Around My Palo Verde Tree?

Have you recently noticed areas of disturbed soil around some of your trees? Or signs that something has been digging up the ground beneath certain trees? In some cases, it can look like an out-of-control rototiller ran through your yard! Take a close look at which trees are being affected. If it’s mostly palo verde trees, then the damage was likely caused by a badger digging for palo verde borer grubs (the grubs are a tasty treat for badgers!). In this article, we’ll cover some of the specifics of badgers in Arizona, why their digging is actually a good thing, and some of the relationships they have with other wildlife. About Badgers Badgers are found in most states and are nocturnal members of the weasel family. If you do catch a rare glimpse of one, it’s best to observe from a distance. While they are most likely to scurry away...
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Is Mistletoe Killing Your Tree?

If you’ve ever noticed a cluster of what appear to be twigs or small branches concentrated together in your mesquite or palo verde tree, it may in fact be desert mistletoe. Mistletoe is often confused for a nest or hive, but it is a living, growing organism. What is desert mistletoe? Desert or mesquite mistletoe ( Phoradendron californicum ) is a hemiparasite that affects many of our local trees. It doesn't look quite like the traditional mistletoe hung in doorways during the holidays, but that's because it's a different variety. There are over 1,000 distinct species of mistletoe worldwide. The scientific classification of mistletoe, Phoradendron , translates to “thief of a tree,” which is a good way to think about mistletoe. It’s not “death of a tree,” per se, but it does rob your tree of certain things. As a hemiparasite, desert mistletoe attaches itself to a tree and steals...
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Are Palo Verde Borers Killing Your Trees?

Also known as the palo verde beetle, palo verde root borer, or palo verde borer beetle, Derobrachus hovorei is a longhorn beetle that can sometimes be confused as a cockroach. But, unlike cockroaches, this insect attacks and kills palo verde trees (among others). This pest exists as both a grub (or borer) during its immature phase, and a large beetle during it’s adult stage. What does the adult beetle look like? You’ll recognize the palo verde beetle by its size. As one of the largest beetles in North America, it can be up to three and a half inches long, and that doesn’t include the antennae! The adult beetles are brown or black and have wings, but are rarely seen flying other than during the summer mating season. Adult borers have a tough outer shell, which makes them difficult to kill. You’ll notice these large beetles most often during monsoon...
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Why Do Trees Suddenly Fall Over?

We usually think of trees as being strong and stable, anchored by a network of roots underground. So why would your tree, especially one that has weathered storms for years, suddenly fall over or be uprooted? An important note: Urban trees aren’t like trees in nature One thing to understood is that trees in urban or suburban settings have different needs than those that grow naturally in the desert. The soil surrounding houses is usually compacted, has fewer nutrients, leaves less room for tree roots, and is more likely to have some form of irrigation on or near it. These are very different circumstances than a tree in the wild, where decaying plant matter and animal activity leads to nutrient-rich soil, the ground is rarely compacted (especially if its nowhere near where humans regularly tread), has a variety of plant life around it to promote a mycorrhizal network , and...
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Why Planting a Tree in the Phoenix Area is Worth the Water

One of the biggest concerns we hear when we mention planting more trees in our area is the amount of water needed. Water is scarce, so why “waste” it on trees? In our opinion (which is backed up by scientists, forestry workers, arborists, and other members of the green industry), planting a native or desert-adapted tree is well-worth the water it needs to become established. How much water does a desert tree need, really? Most native and adapted trees (trees that have adapted to life in the desert) need far less than you may think! In fact, most survive on rainfall alone after the first 2-3 years (although they’ll happily accept an occasional deep watering during the drier summer months). During the first few years after planting, trees benefit from a long, deep watering at the dripline (where the edge of the tree canopy is). This will help the tree’s...
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Saguaro Cactus: 20 Facts About This Amazing Arizona Cactus

Part of living in the Anthem and Phoenix areas is enjoying the unique variety of native plants. Of course, the most easily recognizable desert plants are different kinds of cactus, including the iconic saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea). The saguaro’s tall stature and curved arms make it stand out, and the flowers it produces in the late spring and summer months are our state flower for a reason! If you’re lucky enough to have them on your property, you know that they need different care than your trees or flowers. Here are some things you may not know about the saguaro cactus: Not all of them grow arms. If well cared-for, they can live 150-200 years or more. Saguaros have quite the system for getting water – they have one deep taproot that can extend into the ground about 3-5 feet deep, but the rest of the roots are only 4-6 inches...
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Choosing the Right Pruning Tool for the Job

“The right tool for the job” is more than just an old saying. It’s especially accurate when you’re going to prune your trees. The wrong tool, along with its wrong application, can seriously injure a tree—and possibly you, too. While we recommend all major tree work be done by a certified arborist, some homeowners prefer to do smaller pruning jobs themselves. To help you get the best results, this article describes the right pruning tools to use for specific pruning tasks, the features to look for when choosing your tools, and safety considerations to be aware of. PRUNING TOOL BASICS The first thing to consider when buying or using tools for tree work of any kind is their quality. A good tool may be inexpensive, but more often you will find that cheap pruning tools are weaker, lighter-weight versions of standard tools. Cheap pruning and tree care tools often use:...
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