The Summer Without AC

5 Tips For Preparing For The Arrival Of Your Ready-Mix Concrete

Posted by on 2:07 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Tips For Preparing For The Arrival Of Your Ready-Mix Concrete

If you are ordering ready-mix concrete for a large DIY project, such as installing a new walkway or driveway, it is important that you are fully prepared when the concrete arrives. This is because concrete, even with additives meant to slow the hardening process, needs to be placed and set soon after it is mixed. Also, most companies charge an extra fee if their concrete mixer stays at your site for longer than a half hour or hour. There are a few things that you can do to make sure that your site is fully prepared for the arrival of your concrete order so the truck can pour the concrete and go.  Plan for the Site to Be Totally Ready One or Two Days Before Your Concrete Order Arrives  You should have your site fully prepared by the time your concrete arrives. This involves leveling and compacting the base and creating any timber frames that you plan to use. By planning to have these steps completed one or two days before your concrete is scheduled to arrive, you will have extra time in case something goes wrong. You do not want to be scrambling to finish timber frames while your first order of concrete arrives.  If you fall behind schedule on your project, you should call your concrete provider as soon as possible to reschedule your delivery and avoid cancellation fees.  Be Sure the Truck’s Access Point Remains Clear  While you are preparing the project site, it is possible that you will end up blocking the access points that the concrete trucks will use to reach your site. This can result in you having to pay more to have the concrete pumped to your site or have the truck wait while you clear a path for it, costing you time and money.  Ideally, you should request a consultant visit your site before you order the concrete and discuss possible access paths with you. When you determine which access path you will use, you should flag the area and make sure it remains clear while you prepare your work site.  Be Dressed and Ready to Work When the Concrete Arrives  Once the concrete leaves the trucks, you will have limited time to lay the concrete before it begins to set. It is important that you are ready to work immediately. This means that you and anyone else working on the project should be dressed in work clothes and have your safety gear and tools nearby, ready to go.  Designate Someone to Accept Delivery While Other Workers Get Started Laying the Concrete Immediately  If you order small shipments of concrete to be delivered in multiple trucks, you should designate one or two people to accept the concrete while everyone else working on your project continues to work on the previous concrete delivery. Ideally, one delivery will be fully finished before the next one arrives. However, designating someone to accept each delivery and get started on the next part of your project will allow you to continue working if you fall behind schedule.  Space Your Orders Out Longer Than Necessary  If you are spacing your delivery out in multiple loads, you should order deliveries further apart than you think you will need them. This will allow you to have a short break...

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Protect Your Home By Having A Locksmith Install Specialized Locks On Your Back Door And Inside Garage Door

Posted by on 2:15 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Protect Your Home By Having A Locksmith Install Specialized Locks On Your Back Door And Inside Garage Door

Without strong locks, doors give thieves easy access to your home. Most homes’ front doors have deadbolts that provide good protection, but the locks installed on back doors and doors that lead into the garage are often inferior. If your home has only basic locks on these latter two doors, here’s how having a locksmith install specialized, higher-quality deadbolt locks on these doors could better protect your home and family. A Grade 1 Deadbolt for Your Inside Garage Door The door that leads from your house’s garage into the rest of your home is one of the weakest entry points of your home. According to HomeAdvisor, the garage is the second-most-common point of entry for thieves. From your garage, they can easily get into your house through this door by either picking its lock or kicking down the door. These doors tend to be weak interior doors, and they usually don’t have deadbolts. There are two things you can do to protect against this risk. First, you can upgrade the door that leads from the garage to the rest of your home to an exterior door. Exterior doors are thicker and sturdier than interior doors, and they are much more difficult to kick down. Second, you can have a locksmith upgrade the lock to a deadbolt that’s particularly hard to pick. Because a garage provides concealment for thieves, they may spend some time trying to break or pick the lock on this door. Thus, it’s especially important to have a strong, difficult-to-pick lock installed on this door. For the highest level of protection, ask your locksmith to install a Grade 1 deadbolt. Locks that are rated Grade 1 by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) can withstand 10 strikes that have 75 pounds of force. They’re often used in commercial settings but will provide excellent security for your home. A Double-Cylinder Deadbolt for Your Back Door Your back door has different security risks than your garage door. The strength of the lock on your back door isn’t as important, for your neighbors will be suspicious if they see someone striking your back door multiple times with 75 pounds of force. If your back door has windows in it, however, a thief could break the glass, reach in and unlock the door from the inside in just a few seconds – before your neighbors have a chance to come and investigate. To protect against this risk, have a locksmith install a double-cylinder deadbolt. Unlike single-cylinder deadbolts, double-cylinder models can’t be unlocked without a key. They have slots for keys on both sides of the lock. They don’t have a switch that can be twisted to unlock them. Thus, even if a thief broke the glass on your back door, they would still need a key to unlock the door’s double-cylinder deadbolt from the inside. You’ll need to use a key whenever you want to unlock the door and go into your backyard, but the inconvenience is minimal when compared to the additional security the lock provides. If your home’s doors have only basic locks, don’t wait until after a thief breaks in to upgrade the locks on the door that leads into your garage and the back door. Contact a locksmith in your area today who can install a Grade...

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Blanket Tank Heater Buying Tips

Posted by on 5:26 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Blanket Tank Heater Buying Tips

If you own a business that stores chemicals, resins, epoxies, or other materials that have strict temperature storage requirements, then you likely will need to invest in some sort of heating for the drums or barrels that hold the materials. Blanket tank heaters are a good option to heat your containers from the exterior. This way, you do not have to worry about the corrosion of anode heaters inside the tanks. If you have never used blanket heaters before, keep reading to learn about a few tips about buying the heaters. Choose An Insulating Blanket Blanket heaters work much in the same way as traditional home use heating blankets and heating pads. A number of conductive wires or conductive heating tapes made from carbon fiber wires are run in a pattern along the interior of the blanket. The tape or wire is surrounded by a polyester and acrylic fabric that is fire resistant, and a synthetic or cotton cover is placed over the top. However, industrial tank heaters must provide heat at a consistent temperature that is often much higher than what a heating blanket can provide. The blankets are typically 120 or 240 volt models that utilize variable watts depending on your needs to provide this heat. One of the ways that the heater can safely and accurately provide heat is through the insulation materials along the inside and outside. While synthetic fibers will still be seen on the inside, they will be much thicker than they are for a common heating blanket and they will typically be made out of a glass fiber material instead of polyester. The external cover with also be made from different types of materials. For the best performance, consider looking for a blanket that is made with either a vinyl, silicone, or glass cloth. All of these materials will help to transfer heat to the tank itself. This will prevent heat loss and temperature inconsistencies. The best way to make sure that fiberglass sits inside the blanket and a good synthetic material sits on the exterior is to ask your tank heater supplier for a data or specification sheet to look over.  Look For Advanced Controls Some heating blankets and pads will come with automatic controls. These devices will turn on and off by themselves and keep liquids from freezing. While this may be an option if you want to keep water or diesel fuel from becoming too cold, they are not a good idea if you have an epoxy or other chemical that must be kept within a specific temperature range. For these types of materials, you should choose a heating blanket with thermostat controls that you can change. For materials that can be kept within a more wide range, you may only need a simple turn style control. For materials that need to be kept at a more specific temperature, think about purchasing a blanket with digital controls. These controls offer monitoring system that come with probe devices that inform you of the temperature inside the tank. They also allow you to set timers to turn on and off the heater, and you will be able to set different temperatures for different times. While these features may be instrumental to keep your materials from deteriorating, one of the best digital control features is an alarm. The alarm...

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Old Irrigation System Not Working Out For You? It’s Probably Your Soil

Posted by on 4:55 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Old Irrigation System Not Working Out For You? It’s Probably Your Soil

If your plants and vegetable gardens died because your current irrigation system doesn’t work properly, improve the condition of your soil. Poor soil conditions can drain the life out of your vegetables and flowers over time. Improving the condition of your soil or replacing your old irrigation system altogether may be the only way to save your plants. Here are two things you can do to bring back the beauty of your dying plants.  Condition Your Soil The condition of your soil can play a big role in how well your plants thrive in your landscape. If the water from your current irrigation system doesn’t moisturize and circulate through the soil properly because the soil is too compacted and dry, the plants’ roots won’t survive. In addition, the microorganisms that protect your plants may also reduce in number or completely die off. One of the things you can do to protect your plants is to condition your soil.  Soil conditioning works similar to how you condition your hair. If your hair lacks the proper moisture, it dries out and breaks easily if you don’t condition it. Your plants and vegetables can react the same way if the soil supporting them lacks moisture or oxygen. The water from your irrigation system won’t hydrate the roots of plants properly. In most cases, the majority of the water will spread throughout the soil instead of stay confined to your plants’ roots. Eventually, the soil around the roots dry out. The beneficial fungi and bacteria that live around your plants’ roots die from a lack of moisture and oxygen. Beneficial microorganisms help roots absorb air and moisture from your soil by destroying plant-eating pests and harmful microorganisms. If the beneficial microorganisms die, pests and harmful microorganisms that don’t need healthy soil to live take over. Conditioners make soil healthier by creating a blanket of nutrients over the topsoil, which helps it absorb and retain moisture. Conditioners include manure, organic compost and organic fertilizer. When organic material breaks down, it releases natural gases and chemicals that penetrate soil. Microorganisms that depend on the natural gases and chemicals as food sources may return to the soil over time. The organisms release oxygen as they feed. As the oxygen passes through the soil, it loosens up. The water that surrounds the damaged soil can now flow through it properly. If conditioning your soil doesn’t bring it back to life or save your plants, consider replacing your irrigation system with a subsurface drip irrigation system. Install a Subsurface Drip Irrigation System Most water irrigation systems are placed on top of the soil and grass to water plants. The water needs to soak into the ground to reach the plants’ roots. Although this technique may work well for many homeowners, it may not work well for people who have poor soil conditions, such as yours. A subsurface drip irrigation system may save you headaches and problems because it waters your plants from below ground. Subsurface drip irrigation systems feature unique pipes that release water just below your plants’ roots. This technique ensures that the roots receive water first, which keeps them healthy. The water from your current system has to pass through soil, rocks and other underground substances before it reaches the roots. Although the actual depth for installing the pipes may depend...

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3 Mistakes Well Owners Should Never Make

Posted by on 7:32 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Mistakes Well Owners Should Never Make

About 15% of Americans use private wells for their household’s water needs, and if you’re one of them, you may be making mistakes that can put your health in danger. Here are three mistakes that well owners should never make. Not getting the water tested Municipal water users don’t need to test their water because it is the government’s responsibility, but when you have a well, testing the water is your job. According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, about 23% of private wells are sufficiently contaminated to pose a health concern to users. The most frequent contaminants come from the rocks and sediments in your area and include dangerous substances like arsenic. Contaminants can also come from human activities, such as nitrates or animal feces from nearby farms. Things like fertilizer, pesticides, pool chemicals, and other contaminants can also get into your well due to your own land use. Most homeowners only test their well water when it develops a strange smell or taste, but since many contaminants don’t change the look or smell of your water, you should have your well tested on a regular schedule. Regular testing may seem like common sense, but a Canadian study indicated that only 10.7% of well owners test their well at least once a year. If contaminants are found, your plumber can help you disinfect the well and make structural changes to the well to keep future contaminants out of your water. These changes may include repairs to the well, filtration systems, backflow prevention systems, or other plumbing fixes. Burying the well head Well heads can be an eyesore, especially if they’re in the middle of your yard, but burying them beneath the soil is a very bad idea. While buried well heads look better, they’re more dangerous for you and your family. When the well head is underground, it’s much easier for bacteria, like coliform, to get inside the well through surface runoff. This is why studies have shown that buried wells are more likely to be contaminated than unburied wells. To keep your family safe, keep your well head unburied. In general, it should be at least 12 inches above ground level, but if you live in an area that’s prone to flooding, the well head needs to be tall enough to never be submerged by floodwaters. A plumber can easily extend the well head for you to help you meet this safety guideline. Never having the well inspected The components that make up your well won’t last forever, and once they start to age, contaminants may be able to get into your water. To stay safe, you need to have your well inspected at least once a year so that potential issues can be diagnosed and repaired.  Issues that may develop as your well ages include cracked or damaged well caps, shrunken or collapsed seals, or cracks in the well casing. These problems aren’t easy for homeowners to detect on their own, and can allow surface runoff to get inside your well, causing contamination. If any of these issues are discovered, they can be repaired, though some issues are harder to repair than others. Damaged well caps can be easily replaced with new ones, but if your well casing is damaged, a new well will often need to be drilled. This is because the casing is a...

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Warm Up Your Plaster Walls With This DIY Faux Wood Finish Tutorial

Posted by on 6:52 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Warm Up Your Plaster Walls With This DIY Faux Wood Finish Tutorial

Wood and plaster are both traditional, classic materials, especially when it comes to interior residential settings. While both have their place in the interior design world, plaster tends to be more budget-friendly and is often easier to install without experience. Unfortunately, plaster by itself can seem cold and plain. If you’ve recently installed plaster, but you love the warmth of wood, use this handy DIY faux wood finish tutorial to liven up your walls without breaking the bank. What You’ll Need To create the look in this article, you’ll need a few important tools: A wood graining tool kit Pre-plastered walls Low-luster latex paint Gel stain in your favorite wood color One soft-bristle paintbrush Two paint rollers This process works best if you choose a low-luster paint in a shade similar to natural wood. Try rich, dark brown, reddish brown, or yellow ocher for best results. Prelude: Pre-Plaster and Cure All Walls If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to start by doing any plastering and curing or plaster repair. Follow the directions on your chosen plaster formula to ensure that your chosen product cures properly, and then allow it to dry completely before proceeding. Drying and curing takes several weeks, so don’t rush this process. If you haven’t plastered yet, consider waiting 30 days between processes. Never paint over plaster that hasn’t fully dried. Prime Your Surfaces Start by priming your plaster walls with plain white primer. Depending on how translucent your primer is, you may need a second application–if so, allow for drying time between the first and second coat. Allow the primer to dry fully before you proceed. Add Your Base Color Apply your low-luster latex paint to all walls with a paint roller. Don’t be afraid to make a mess or have imperfections at this step–you’ll correct them later. The little imperfections in your surface are irrelevant right now, so just have fun with it! Your main goal is to create a solid layer of wood-like color to support the grain you’ll create in the coming steps. Create the Grain Using Your Gel Stain and Wood Graining Tool Next, using each of the tools in your wood graining kit, apply the gel stain. The easiest way to do this is by adding a light layer of gel stain over a section of wall, and then stroking downward through the paint from the ceiling all the way to the floor. Experiment with your patterns a bit. Try turning each tool in a variety of directions, or try running it in gentle curves. When you are satisfied with the section of wall you’re working on, move to the next one. Allow Your Finish to Cure Once you’re satisfied with your walls, step back and allow the paint and glaze to dry completely. This process generally takes one to two days, but longer is often better in humid or wet weather. Fans will help to speed the process, but don’t use a dehumidifier–it sucks the moisture out of the air too quickly, and may cause cracking or breaking. Add a Finish Coat Adding a finish coat isn’t completely necessary, but it will give your walls a natural sheen that mimics varnished wood. This adds depth and warmth, and only requires a single step. Caution: Before proceeding, you need...

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Business Safety Tips: Improving Your Parking Lot

Posted by on 12:56 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Business Safety Tips: Improving Your Parking Lot

As a business owner, it is your job to ensure that both your employees and customers are safe. If you own a retail store, you may generally think of safety as keeping the aisles clean and free of clutter. However, safety goes well beyond the environment inside of your store. The environment outside of your store is just as important. Considering that approximately 206 people are killed annually in parking lot related accidents, it is important to ensure the safety of your parking lot. Avoid Ornamental Designs Although landscaping and ornamental designs such as trees and shrubs may look attractive, it can block the view of drivers in your parking lot. Rather than designing your parking lot with ornaments and greenery that may reduce visibility, ensure the design of your parking lot offers plenty of space and a wide open view. Promoting better visibility can reduce the likelihood of an accident taking place in your parking lot. If a driver is unable to see while backing out, it is more likely that they will strike another vehicle or perhaps even a pedestrian walking through the parking lot. Curbs and walkways are okay and even encouraged to promote the safety of pedestrians, but avoid the use of any other décor in your parking lot. Smooth Out the Pavement If you have a parking lot paved in asphalt, keep in mind that the asphalt is bound to deteriorate. Potholes and other uneven pits in the ground are often caused by the tires of vehicles constantly driving over the material. Not only can potholes and uneven marks in the pavement cause damage to other vehicles, they can also pose slip and fall risks. If a customer or employee happens to trip and fall because of a pothole, you could be held responsible. An employee or customer would have the right to file a lawsuit against you, which could end up costing you an unnecessary amount of money. Ensure that your parking lot offers a smooth, even surface for the safety of your employees and customers by hiring professionals to perform necessary repairs. Discover more about parking lot repair by getting in touch with a local professional.  Provide Plenty of Security Features From robberies to kidnapping, poorly designed parking lots can pose serious risks to the safety of your employees and customers. An estimated 80% of crimes that occur at offices, shopping centers, and strip malls take place in the parking lot. Fortunately, you can promote the safety of individuals on your property by redesigning certain safety elements, particularly lighting and security cameras. Proper lighting is of the utmost importance when it comes to the safety of your parking. Lighting provides greater visibility, therefore deterring criminals away from your business. Lighting can also prevent vehicular accidents from occurring. Low lighting or a lack of lighting can reduce visibility. If a driver is unable to see his or her surroundings, they run the risk of hitting another vehicle in the parking lot or perhaps even a pedestrian. Aside from lighting, you should also incorporate other safety features, such as security cameras. Criminals want to avoid being seen and identified. Strategically placed security cameras that are visible to potential criminals sends a warning message that makes them think twice about committing a crime. Criminals are...

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5 Reasons To Choose A Restoration Company With Advanced Moisture Detection Equipment

Posted by on 1:01 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Reasons To Choose A Restoration Company With Advanced Moisture Detection Equipment

When a broken water main or hurricane flooding damages your home, you’ll likely want to call the first water damage restoration company you can find. However, taking at least a little time to ask about the equipment and qualifications of the service provider pays off in the long run. Shop around for a company that brings high-tech moisture detection tools to enjoy these five benefits. Preventing Hidden Mold When water fills up a home or even a single room, the liquid flows through tiny cracks and openings you can’t even see to create pockets of moisture in inaccessible spots like The inside of wall cavities, even if the outside of the drywall feels dry Air conditioning and heating ducts, especially units located in the floor Crawlspaces and insulation cavities in concrete slabs. It’s hard to open up every tiny space in the home just to find a spoonful of water, but that splash of moisture is enough to set off a major mold infestation. Mold spores trigger allergy and asthma attacks, on top of making the home smell stale and unpleasant. An infrared camera quickly scans through multiple layers of material to pinpoint every last splash and spill. Stopping Structural Damage The same hidden and trapped moisture that triggers mold growth can create a rot problem that threatens the entire house. Instead of feeling anxious and paranoid about the potential of your floor joists giving in and leaving you stuck in the floor, let the remediation team ensure every part of the house’s frame is properly dried out. The best teams will use both imaging technology, like an infrared camera or thermal scanner, and moisture probes that stick deep into wood studs and joists to double-check for safety. Structural damage is the most expensive type of water damage to fix. Replacing completely rotten floor joists and wall studs can require jacking up the entire roof, while water-logged foundations are even harder to excavate and replace. Investing in more expensive testing now could save you thousands of dollars over time. Getting Insurance Money Are you relying on an approved claim from your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy to pay for repairs and remediation? Hiring a team to come in before restoration begins and take accurate measurements of all damaged areas allows you to file the most accurate claim possible. This increases the chances of getting the request approved quickly so restoration can begin. The claim associates at insurance companies are well acquainted with damage detection equipment, so they’ll know that a report is more trustworthy when it’s backed up with data from a thermal scanner or moisture probe. Did the insurance company insist on hiring a water damage repair company and you’re concerned that the technicians missed some moisture? Bring in your own testing team to discover the truth. You’ll need plenty of hard evidence of leftover water and the damage it caused to get the insurance company to admit a mistake and rectify it. Finding Unknown Leaks Perhaps it was a flood due to weeks of rain that damaged your home in the first place, but that doesn’t mean a second secret water leak isn’t causing further problems. The same testing you order to check for moisture after an emergency can catch all sorts of hidden leaks you’ve missed over...

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Three Ways To Ensure Your Wooden Fence Lasts As Long As Possible

Posted by on 5:14 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Ways To Ensure Your Wooden Fence Lasts As Long As Possible

Having a wooden fence installed can be a pretty big investment, so it makes sense to ensure your fence lasts for as long as possible. With the proper care, you can extend the lifespan of your fence. Here are three ways to accomplish that goal. Keep weeds, bushes, and debris away from the fence. When you allow weeds and bushes to grow up against your fence, you trap moisture against the fence, which promotes rotting. Similarly, piled up, fallen leaves and other debris can trap moisture against your fence. Even if your fence is sealed, long-term exposure to moisture on its surface can cause mold growth. Always keep the weeds near your fence well trimmed. You may wish to apply a weed killer to the land directly under your fence on a regular basis, as this will decrease the amount of trimming and weeding you need to do. If you plant bushes along your fence line, be sure to plant them a few feet away from the base of the fence, so they don’t come into direct contact with it as they grow. Also, rake fallen leaves on a regular basis throughout the autumn, rather than waiting until the end of fall to rake once — or worse yet — letting them sit over winter when they can trap liquid from melting snow near your fence. Apply a water protector or sealant. Rain and snow can accelerate your fence’s aging process. Not only do they promote rotting, but if the wood is allowed to absorb water and then it evaporates, the contraction and relaxation of the wood fibers can lead to splitting. The easiest way to protect your fence from the elements is to apply a sealant that will cause water to bead up on the fence surface rather than being absorbed into it. You can find a fence sealer at your local home improvement store. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow them closely. You’ll need to sand the fence to remove splinters before sealing it and then apply one to two coats of the product. Many products need to be re-applied every few years. Keep an eye out for insects. Wood bees and carpenter ants may seem like they’re just a minor annoyance, but they can actually cause substantial damage to your fence. Wood bees, especially, can create elaborate burrows in the wood, weakening your fence beams to the point that they crack and need to be replaced. Thus, if you see signs of these insects, you should take action to get rid of them promptly. If you spot wood bees near your fence, watch the bees closely to find the hole they have built their nest inside. Then, purchase an insecticide that states it will work on wood bees. Wait until the evening when the bees are less active, put on long sleeves and pants for some protection, and spray the insecticide into the hole. Wait a few days for the bees to die, and then plug up the hole with some wood paste to prevent the bees from returning. If you see carpenter ants around your fence (these are large, black ants), you can kill them by tracing them back to their nest within the fence, and pouring boiling water into it. This should kill any...

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Waiting For The Ripe Time: How To Trim Fruit Trees Without Killing Them

Posted by on 4:24 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Waiting For The Ripe Time: How To Trim Fruit Trees Without Killing Them

Fruit trees can be a fantastic asset to add to your property. They provide shade, beauty, and, best of all, food. They increase your home’s value, but only once they are mature and fruiting. How can you get them there? Fruit trees can be sensitive to their environment, so it’s very important to protect them and care for them properly. That means waiting for the right time to prune and trim them. Here’s what you need to know. Winter for Health, Spring for Stunting Deciding when to prune your fruit tree is the first step to success. You have a much lower chance of completely wrecking your tree when you take the pruners to it when it’s dormant. For one, you can see what you’re doing better without the foliage. Also, when you cut large sections out of a tree in full bloom, you expose the fruit and leaves to sunburn, which will seriously reduce your yield and could permanently damage the tree. Lastly, if you cut into the tree when it’s blooming, you risk sending it into shock. Yes, trees can go into shock too, and when that happens, all fruit production ceases, growth halts, and the tree becomes vulnerable to parasites, disease and inclement weather. If your goal is to stunt the growth of your tree because it seems to be getting out of hand, prune it during late spring or early summer. Be careful not to take whole branches off of the tree, prune it to shape it instead of pruning it to reduce growth. The pruning itself will help slow the growth of the tree, you don’t need to hack at it. Prune the Right Branches You can’t clip a tree willy-nilly and expect to have good results. To be effective at pruning your fruit trees, you’ll have to think like a tree. Plants and trees have a method to their madness and grow in patterns that befit the plant’s environment. Light encourages the tree to send its nutrients toward the sun, which creates upward growth toward the nearest light source. If your tree is in partial shade, it will grow lop-sided toward the light. In order to encourage even growth, you must prune the tree where it is trying to reach for the light. This will be a constant process of clipping small sections off of the branches that grow faster than the other parts of the tree, being careful to avoid clipping the wrong branches. If you take parts of the shorter branches, you risk exacerbating the accelerated growth of the longer ones. You must be diligent to avoid the need for over-pruning just to get the tree back into the shape you want it. If you let the tree get too far ahead of you, it is best to wait until winter to re-shape the tree to avoid it going into shock. Check the growth of your tree once per week to see if it is growing evenly, and if not, to catch it early enough to prune it before winter. If you’ve never grown fruit trees before, it can be easy to mess them up. In order to have the healthiest, happiest trees on the block, you have to put a little effort into them when they’re young. Before you know...

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