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Spring Gardening Tips for South East QLD

Spring has officially sprung and with spring comes the some unpredictable pre-summer weather.

With spring unfortunately can come dry conditions, which can inhibit new plant growth.

However, there is a lot to keep you busy in the garden during the spring months.  Think more along the lines of fertilizing and watering if not enough rainfalls.

Plant gardening tips

It is a good time to mulch and do a general fertilization of your garden and plants if you haven’t already. As summer creeps into spring the warmer weather will stimulate new plant growth and they’ll be looking for nutrients.

Even if plants don’t appear to have had much growth or need much pruning it is a good idea to get rid of any dead flowers to prevent nutrients being wasted.

It is a good time to cut back tropical plants and foliage as they when the warmer weather comes, they will shoot again quickly.

Vegetable gardening tips

Like your plants, you want to focus on fertilizing your veggies in spring. It is a good time to mulch and water if it has been particularly dry.

As the weather gets warmer, pests and diseases start to rear their ugly heads so get your pest control plan in place whether that be insect proof nets, traps, spraying or fruit fly control bags.

You should continue to plant vegetables throughout this month as many vegetables grow well in the lead up to summer but will struggle in the peak of summer heat. Spring is the likely the last opportunity you’ll get to a wide range of vegetables growing.

How pruning helps to enhance the growth and shape of your trees

Pruning trees helps them grow and makes them stronger.

With regular pruning they’ll likely require less maintenance to keep them healthy, as they get older too.

Trees can be a costly investment so you want to make sure you give them the best possible chance of thriving! A young tree is vulnerable to the elements and needs some TLC so that it can thrive. Regular pruning is one way to do this.

How does pruning help trees?

  • Removing dead, diseased or damaged branches helps prevent the spread of disease and decay within the tree.
  • A pruned tree results in a thinner canopy, allowing an increase of air and sunlight to the branches usually hidden in the dense foliage. This results in a healthier tree and fewer disease problems.
  • Pruning reduces the heavy weight on heavy branches, allowing the tree to retain its natural shape.
  • Pruning reduces potential hazards from large braches being obstructive or falling.
  • Pruned trees look nice on the eye. An unruly tree can become visually unappealing.

Pruning is one of the most common and most important tree maintenance procedures and most routine pruning can be carried out at any time throughout the year.

Although not difficult to learn the pruning basics, you may want to engage the services of a professional if:

  • You have never pruned your trees before and aren’t sure where you start
  • Your trees are showing signs of disease or decay (some diseases can be spread when pruning during active transmission periods). If you’re not sure what to signs to look for, read about signs of diseases in trees here.
  • You have trees such as palms, where certain pruning techniques should be applied for the safety of the plant and the pruner!

5 trees suitable to plant in your SEQ backyard 

Planting trees in your garden can add a lot of value to your lifestyle and home.

Considering the SEQ sub-tropical climate, some trees are more suitable than others.

There are issues such as leaf and branch drop, maintenance requirements, size and shade that they will offer.

With this in mind, here are 5 trees suitable for your SEQ backyard:

  1. CUPANIOPSIS anacardioides  – also known as a Tuckeroo, Carrotwood, Green-leaved Tamarind and Beach Tamarind. This tree resembles a lollipop and is good for acting as a low maintenance hedge or along pathways. This is a native tree local to the Brisbane area and produces berries, which attract birds. The tree doesn’t drop many leaves so there won’t be much litter and the non evasive root system makes it perfect for next to pavements and walkways.
  2. ELAEOCARPUS eumundii – this tree grows approximately 6-7m tall and -2 wide. The new leaves grow pink making an attractive contrast against the glossy green leaves. This trees foliage grows to the ground also making it a great hedge option.
  3. Waterhousea floribunda – also known as a weeping lilly pilly is a taller version of the Tuckeroo – standing at around 8m in height and spreading over 6m. It is best places away from the building structures but provides nice shade in the garden thanks to its lollipop shape.
  4. Flowering Eucalyptus – the Eucalyptus Summer Red and Summer beauty produce blossoms in stunning shades of red and pink. Not cheap, but these natives are one of the most beautiful trees you could plant in your garden. At around 6m in height they are manageable, don’t drop branches and attract birds making them a beautiful focal point of your yard.
  5. Delonix Regia – also known as the Poinciana. This tree is a Brisbane icon and provides great colour and shade from red through to orange, and even flowering in summer. It is best suited to a back corner away from buildings and will provide a canopy of shade. It does drop flowers and seeds so you’ll want to keep it away from any paved areas. A slow grower, purchase as mature a tree as you can afford to provide maximum wow factor as soon as possible.

These are just a few of the popular options suitable for your SEQ backyard!

Trees add a sense of calm and tranquility to your backyard and buy choosing the right ones for the climate they’ll require little maintenance for many years!

To keep them healthy trees should be pruned professionally every 2-3 years to keep them well maintained and in the desired shape.

pests and diseases in your trees

Managing pests and diseases in your trees

Protecting trees from pests and diseases is key to keeping them healthy.

Fungal diseases and insect pests can damage leaves, shoots and crows which can reduce the growth of trees, impact their condition and if severe enough – cause them to die.

Knowing how to spot the signs of pests of diseases is critical for keeping your trees healthy and thriving.

Stressed trees don’t look pretty and also pose a risk of danger of falling branches!

Symptoms of pests and diseases in trees·

  • Sighting of stem borers such as grubs or caterpillars that tunnel through and feed on wood.
  • Jagged or ripped leaf edges.
  • Leaf discoloration, withering or leaf loss.
  • Spots, blotches or blisters on leaf.
  • Stains, cracks or splits in the bark.

These are signs of leaf chewing beetles, mites, termites and other damaging and invasive pests and diseases. Diseases can infect both mature and immature foliage so it is important to check trees and plants at all stages of their life. See a full range of possible pests and diseases here.

Keeping trees healthy

Regular pruning
Regular pruning is essential to keep trees healthy, stimulate health new growth. Pruning encourages air circulation of the tree and reduces the chances of a fungal infection in the tree. It is essential that pruning is done correctly as mistakes can make trees more susceptible to diseases.

Regular inspection
Inspect your trees, both leafs and branches, regularly so that you spot damage from pests or disease outbreaks as soon as possible so that it can be treated in a timely manner and hopefully stopped in its tracks!

If you aren’t experienced in tree pruning or notice any signs of pests or diseases in your trees you should contact a professional to identify and hopefully prevent the disease from spreading or doing further damage. Call Australian Tree Services.



How to build a S’mores worthy fire-pit for your outdoor space this winter.

An outdoor fire pit will see you hosting flamin’ hot gatherings and toasting marshmallows with the kids all throughout winter!

Nothing screams winter like a fire pit.  With kids these days spending so much time indoors, a fire-pit is the perfect way to entice them outside and make some memories!

You’ll be happy to know that it’s not too hard to build a professional looking fire pit yourself. With some planning, teamwork and elbow grease, you can create your backyard campground to enjoy all year round!

What you’ll need to build a fire pit like a pro:

  • Gravel
  • Shovel
  • Concrete blocks


1. Choose the location

Fire-pits make a decorative addition to an outdoor space but it is important to consider their position. Before you start building your pit, choose a suitable location – away from buildings, plants and overhanging branches. Consider which direction the smoke will blow in the wind.

2. Dig the base for your fire

Dig a circular shaped base for the fire, approximately 3 feet should be ample space for the fire whilst providing a cosy atmosphere when everyone is sat around it.

3. Prepare the base

Level out road base, compact and level it off by spreading sand throughout the trench. Sprinkle neat cement over the sand as this will help keep the structure sound.

4. Build the pit

Using concrete blocks, construct the wall for the fire pit. By choosing blocks that already have circular walls you will avoid having to cut them and be able to form a neat circular shape. Stack 2-3 blocks on top of each other to create the depth of your liking.

5. Light the fire

Add the wood and start the fire! By stacking wood in a tepee formation with surrounding kindling your fire should keep burning all night long!

tree clearing 2

Changes to land clearing laws in QLD

Queensland’s land clearing laws have been tightened this year, but what does that mean for you?

It is important that landowners are aware of the changes to vegetation management laws if you intend to clear vegetation on your property.

Vegetation management controls that were scrapped in 2013 have been reinstated to minimise the potential for pre-emptive clearing and to protect wildlife and reduce carbon emissions.

What could this mean for you and your land?

If you have land that was previously free of land clearing restrictions, you may find that there are now tight controls over what you can do in terms of vegetation management.

This may mean that land you previously planned on clearing may now be protected.

These laws particularly impact farmers, as they will now be required to obtain approval under the EPBC Act to thin vegetation, if it is proposed that clearing could have a significant impact on the environment.

Land that has not been cleared for 15 years (previously 29) on freehold land will now be considered “high value regrowth vegetation” and clearing in these areas will be prohibited.

Necessary clearing landholders can still conduct

The new laws specify that landholders can still conduct clearing that is necessary for farm operations and property management including:

Preparation for natural disasters

  • Weed control
  • Encroachment management
  • To establish property infrastructure
  • Continue to harvest fodder for drought (but you need to re-notify your intent to clear)

Prior to conducting any clearing it is important and recommended to check if there have been conservation class of vegetation changes to your land. You can find free vegetation and property maps here.

You can find details of the changes and how they apply to you here.



The best veggies to plant this Autumn (QLD)

Autumn makes for a great veggie planting month in QLD.

Autumn means dry, sunny days and cooler nights, making it a perfect season for many fruits and veggie patches, planting vegetables, home grown, herb garden to flourish! The summer rain means soil is moist making it a perfect to support new plants.

As well as putting food on your table, growing your own vegetables is extremely rewarding, relaxing and something the whole family can get involved in.

Homegrown food is fresh, preservative free and full of nutrients as it goes straight from the garden to your table.

Different veggies thrive throughout different seasons and the subtropical Queensland Autumn climate for quite the selection of many Aussie favourites.

Leafy and root vegetables and herbs grow well and planting them means you’ll have a tasty treat in time for Winter.

Vegetables that will thrive if planted in Autumn:

  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Spring onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplants
  • Carrots
  • Capsicums
  • Broad beans
  • Cauliflower

Herbs that will healthily grow throughout Autumn:

  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Oregano

Despite the moist soil, your veggies will still need plenty of water as they are growing and a little help from a natural fertiliser won’t go amiss.

Planting these seeds and seedlings in August should result in a successful veggie patch ready for you to harvest and enjoy. Be mindful that if you live in an area that is prone to frost, your veggies may need a little extra TLC and protection from the elements.

So pick a few of your favourites and most eaten herbs and vegetables and get your fingers green!


Winter care for fruit trees

Winter care for fruit trees

Fruit trees rest in winter to rejuvenate, and this is the perfect opportunity to pamper them.

Think of it as a ‘spring clean’, just in a different season for fruit trees!

Although fruit growth may slow down, the care for your trees certainly doesn’t!

Winter is the perfect time to get rid of unwanted pests, pruning, weeding and spraying so that they can thrive again come spring – there is plenty to do to keep your green thumbs busy throughout the cooler months.

5 ways to care for fruit trees this winter:

  1. Weeding. Winter is the perfect time to eliminate any weeds surrounding your fruit trees. As the trees will be looking a little sparse compared to usual, you’ll be able to see and reach weeds better to remove them. Removing weeds also reduces creepy crawlies and pests.
  2. Removal of old leaves and fruit. Old leaves and fruit is a breeding ground for eggs and pests, winter is the perfect opportunity to spot and remove this dead fruit.
  3. Washing and spraying. Winter washing and spraying early in winter removes any pests that may be attempting to hide in your fruit trees from the elements until spring. Bordeaux spray and lime sulphur are commonly used for winter washing fruit trees. As well as controlling pests, this spray also controls fungal spores and eggs.
  4. Protecting your trees from the elements. The cold snap can wreak havoc with vulnerable fruit trees. Trees such as olives and lemons should be moved into a greenhouse, or a semi-indoor space.
  5. Drainage. Ensure any potted fruit trees have adequate drainage as it is extremely hard for frozen roots to recover.

By caring for your fruit trees in winter, you’ll reap the rewards come spring and summer with healthy fruit a plenty!

That thought alone should be enough to keep you warm throughout the winter months and busy giving your fruit trees some TLC.

For assistance or advice maintaining your fruit trees, or if you have larger trees to prune, any time of the year, contact Australian Tree Services.



Pesky weeds in your not so perfect lawn? How to rid the weeds once and for all

Do you spend more time battling weeds than doing anything else in your garden?

Weeds crop up everywhere; in your lawn, your plants and your paths – they can be relentless and are an unsightly addition to your garden!

Different types of weeds require different types of weed killer. Knowing your weeds means you can eradicate them without damaging your luscious lawn, giving you more time to enjoy your outdoor space, weed free!

Steps to rid weeds from your lawn once and for all:

  • Establish what types of weeds are in your lawn. Different types of weeds require different removal tactics. Once you know the type of weed you’re dealing with and it’s life cycle, you’ll be able to establish the best removal method and how to best prevent them from growing back.
  • Choose your herbicide based on the type of weeds. There are some weed killers that are specifically designed to remove weeds from your lawn, leaving your turf healthy.
  • Kill the weeds. Once you have established the type of weeds you’re dealing with and chosen the correct herbicide, you can make a start with saying goodbye to the weeds once and for all.

Weeding is hard work, especially if attempting to do this by hand! Manual weeding becomes extremely difficult especially if the weeds affect a large area or are deep rooted.

Although a DIY weed removal job can be tempting, weeds can be relentless and continue to reoccur if a professional doesn’t tackle them, which means less and less time for you to enjoy your garden!

Australian Tree Services are weed-spraying professionals who are able to identify and successfully remove weeds from your lawn, without causing any damage to your turf. They are experts in identifying and eradicating a variety of weeds, safely and professionally.

storm ready

Is your property storm ready?

With storm season in full swing, it’s time to think about whether you are appropriately prepared!

Queensland storms can be severe, and the aftermath can involve a lengthy clean up mission, including cleaning up fallen trees and debris.

There are simple measures you may not have thought of that will significantly minimise the impact a storm could have on your home and property.

Here are some considerations to ensure your home is storm ready:

  1. Are your gutters, downpipes and drains clear?
    By making sure your gutters, downpipes and drains are clear – you are ensuring that water is able to drain away as quickly as possible. This is extremely important in the instance of a flood where your gutters, pipes and drains are going to be under extreme pressure. By water being able to effectively drain away it also means that you’re not going to be left with stagnant water, which can cause future property damage.
  2. Is your garden tidy?
    Securing loose objects in your garden such as furniture and also making sure unruly trees and overhanging branches are removed or trimmed will mean they don’t become a hazard in high wind speeds.
  3. Are any of your trees suffering from termite damage?
    If any of your trees are suffering from termite damage they are weaker and more susceptible to damage from the storm than healthy trees. Removing them may be an option to ensure they don’t fall, break or damage your property in a storm.

These are a few of the things that you can do to get storm ready and minimise the damage a storm could have on your home.

Contact a local tree professional such as Australian Tree Services who specialise in preventative maintenance to make sure you’re home, garden and gutters are storm ready!

If you didn’t prepare in time, Australian Tree Services can also help clean up fallen trees, branches and debris that has been left behind by a storm.



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Australian Tree Services
Brisbane, QLD
Call: 07 3288 7777
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