Tree Care Services of Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR

Seasonal

Vancouver Winter Preparedness Checklist

By AK Timber

Although it felt like it was never going to actually get chilly, all of a sudden the temperatures have plummeted, and we are in a position wherein the chilliness seems colder than it ever has before. Winds, rainfall, sleet, and yes, snow, are all on their way, so you have to make certain that you are prepared for their wraths. Have you completed everything that you wish to do well before the season begins to get as fierce as it can?

If you haven’t begun getting ready at the moment, now is the absolute best moment to begin. Take some time to work off some of your Thanksgiving turkey and wine and go out into your property to certainly see what might materialize if you don’t think toward the long term.

Not quite sure where to begin? Here are four ways to prepare for the season:

4. Secure Yourself From The Cold Weather Outside

  • Purchase and use storm window overlays
  • Use plastic on the indoors
  • Caulk any susceptible gaps

One of the most efficient and straightforward activities you can do to prepare yourself and your family for this arriving weather is to deter the cold from coming into your home. To do this, take a few preventive steps that the American Red Cross suggests highly.

The first to walk around your home from the outside and the interior and see where freezing air may permeate into your home. Common transgressors are windows and doors. However, there can be gaps in other places. This will keep your home much more enjoyable and your electricity expenses down, as well as do away with some of the threats that you might get a few pests boarding in your home over the season.

Another great approach, in particular for those who live close to the water, is to get storm windows. These will not only secure your house from the cold weather and wind but can also help them continue to be safe if debris starts to fly during an especially bad storm. If buying storm covers is too costly, consider lining the insides of your windows with plastic for some beefed up protection.

3. Winterize All Buildings

  • Don’t overlook swimming pools, water features, and porches
  • Take care to winterize small gardens and lawn
  • Never neglect your garage

Many people think that they solely need to winterize their homes because that is the only spot they will really be during the course of the storm, but that isn’t the situation. According to Weather Underground, many people fail to remember to winterize some factors on their properties, and that actually costs more money than the damages to your home would.

Winterize your pools, arbors, porches, and outdoor areas by removing anything that could blow away in a storm. Keep in mind that ice and snow are much heavier than rain, so you need to clear away anything where snow can build up, like awnings or coverings. Anything that previously has sitting water (like a pool, birdbath, or container) will likely ice over in the cold, so you have to account for growth as well.

Most essentially, you should always winterize your garage. While it is rare, if you do ever have to depart your property because of the snow, you want a reliable way to get to your vehicles.

2. Make Sure Your Equipment is in Position

  • Try to keep everything around your home
  • Always have a solid shovel
  • Have supplemental salt at the ready

One of the most significant blunders people make when they are trying to get prepared for the cold weather season is that they get many things prepared and then they don’t have it close to when the blizzard actually strikes. Will you really need a shovel at some point? Of course. But how can you get it if we get 24″ of snowfall and the shovel is in your garden shed? Be sure that your equipment is prepared and near your home at all times. Try setting it in your garage or on your deck. The CDC has a checklist of things that you need to be prepared for violent storms.

Check all of the important gear, like shovels, ice scrapers, snow blowers, gloves, hats, chains, and anything else you may need to make yourself protected in the snow. Guarantee they will do their tasks successfully and securely. It also isn’t a poor thought to have a few substitutes– just in case something goes wrong OR just in case you have a few helpers.

1. Check out Your Trees

  • Look for any hanging branches
  • Guarantee that they can acquire water and nutrition
  • Have risky branches removed

One of the most considerable challenges you may face in the middle of the winter weather months is tree care. Trees have a tendency to slow down a little in the wintertime, but they are still enduring and need to be able to get nutrition and water. Ascertain that the ground is making it possible for them to get what they are in need of– specifically once everything starts to solidify up and become dense. You also want to ensure that going into this time, your trees are safe and have a great chance of survival if they do have to go for a bit with no water or food.

Lastly, always consult a professional tree service if you see any branches that could pose a predicament to your home, cars and trucks, swimming pool, structures on your property, power lines, or the roadway if we do get a considerable ice storm or snow storm. These types of storms can weigh down trees and make it so that you have an emergency of your own in the middle of a weather-related disaster. As suggested by the US Government, be sure that you have the telephone number of a local tree care company in case you do have an unexpected emergency.

If you are in need of a go-to tree service contractor in the Vancouver area, contact AK Timber today. We are a highly trained team of skilled professionals that take tree services, most especially tree care in the winter months, extremely seriously. Your trees and your safety and security mean a lot to us, so we want to do whatever we can to make you feel more secure this winter season.

Give us a call today at (360) 635-1076, and we can come to your residence to complete any maintenance needed before the season gets too bad or, in the event of an urgent situation, we can really help you to clear up the predicament as quickly as possible.

Header photo courtesy of June Marie on Flickr!

Vancouver Florists For a Beautiful Valentine’s Day

By AK Timber

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, you have a lot of chances to be romantic and create a day that your beloved will never forget. In Vancouver, there are quite a few stores and shops that will allow you to give back to the community while still getting unique and beautiful gifts. The traditional gift to give to a loved one of any kind (spouse, child, parent, friend, etc.), is flowers. However, there is a lot to be researched when it comes to the florist that you choose.

Do they use fresh flowers? Where do they get the flowers from? How long do they take? Does the florist do anything out of the ordinary? What kinds of flowers are available? Do they have stuffed animals? How long do the bouquets live?

The best place to start is with some of these local florists:

1. Awesome Flowers

Keeping in line with the name, Awesome Flowers does some amazing floral arranging that will leave you in awe.

Credit: Awesome Flowers

Credit: Awesome Flowers

They focus on making arrangements that are traditional with a little bit of extra flare. This might mean that they do something unique with the greenery or they cut the flowers in a new and exciting way. It is a good way for someone who wants an arrangement that is a little different to experiment and try something new.

The team at Awesome Flowers is extremely nice and will work with you to get what you want. You can help them create something or look through their wide catalogue for something that you like. They use a lot of the traditional colors in their Valentine’s Day arrangements, but make sure to ask about some of their other floral options.

2. Heaven Scent

Credit: Heaven Scent

Credit: Heaven Scent

If you need roses, flowers, or plants in the Vancouver, WA area, another option is the hilariously named Heaven Scent. Of course, their bouquets all smell absolutely beautiful and are created with that in mind. Along with appearance, one of the best reasons to get a bouquet is to fill a room with the scent of flowers that lingers long after the bouquet is gone. The staff works with you to get a bouquet that does just that.

This team is comprised of some of the leader florists in the area who work to get your bouquet just right. Whether you want something that is a little more traditional and elegant, they have that. If you want something that is fun and funky, they have that as well.

They have online ordering as well that is safe and reliable.

3. Coventry Gardens

If you aren’t looking for only flowers for your Valentine’s Day celebration in Vancouver, WA, or you aren’t looking for

Credit: Coventry

Credit: Coventry

flowers at all, Coventry Gardens is a fantastic local company that creates gift baskets, bags, and bouquets that all include something extra. From specialty teas that will keep you warm for the rest of the season to fun British snacks, they have it all.

According to their website, “All orders are handled with special care, creativity and a bit of European Flair.”

Since 1980, Coventry Gardens of London gives you a taste of British culture without having to go to London. Thanks to this flair, many of their arrangements look and feel different from other companies. They have more modern styles in some of their arrangements and a more traditional style in others. If you want a wide variety, this is a place to start.

4. Luepke Florist

Credit: Luepke

Credit: Luepke

Since 1909, the team at Luepke Florists have been creating some of the most romantic and beautiful floral arrangements that you can find anywhere. They use precise qualifications to choose their flowers, ensuring that your bouquet will last for a long time and will stay gorgeous no matter what you want to do with them – they dry absolutely beautifully.

According to their website, “Luepke Flowers & Finds is a proud member of Real Local Florists and the Vancouver Downtown Association. We also are heavily involved in the Vancouver community and donate to Hough Foundation and SHARE.”

If you aren’t looking for Valentine’s Day and you just want to get flowers, they even have a “Flower Happy Hour” that offers all of their cut flowers for half off. This will allow you to create your own bouquet that will be special and unique – though maybe not as grand as these.

5. Fine Flowers

Handmade arrangements with love and care are easy to spot. They are the ones that have precision cut stems, perfect

Credit: Fine Flowers

Credit: Fine Flowers

blossoms, and just the right amount of greenery and filler. At Fine Flowers, each and every arrangment is beautiful and handmade.

According to their website, “You can trust our skilled florists to arrange a beautiful bouquet for your special occasion, or even create a gorgeous one-of-a-kind arrangement just for you.”

The team takes  a lot of care in creating arrangements that reflect their artistry. This company teams with Teleflora to ensure that you can order your flowers online and personalize them there. If you don’t have a lot of time, this is extremely convenient.

6. Garside Florist

Credit: Garside

Credit: Garside

The team at Garside Florist have been voted the “Best Florist” in the area for the last seven years. This is because they work to go above your expectations with amazing arrangements and bouquets that are unique, bright, and smell great. They are located in Vancouver, WA but serve the entire Clark County area, including Portland, OR. For a team that has been working for 65 years, some of their experimentation and out of the box ideas are to be commended.

This local florist gets deliveries every day of new, fresh flowers. They also carry locally grown Roses, Stargazers, Asiatic lilies, Tulips, Dahlias, Peonies and assorted greenery. Other than flowers, they have a nice selection of plants, European gardens, plush, candy and cards. 

7. Clark County Floral

If you are looking for arrangements that are absolutely breathtaking and will steal the heart of the person you love,

Credit: Clark County Florist

Credit: Clark County Florist

consider heading to Clark Country Floral. This locally owned and operated store provides excellence in all of their floral arrangements. You don’t have to worry about getting a flower that is past peak or already starting to wilt – that won’t happen here. Their customer reviews are some of the most stellar on the internet. This is because they believe in customer service that doesn’t stop until you are satisfied.

While they do specialize in weddings and events in Vancouver, WA, they also create floral arrangements and bouquets for all other special holidays and events as well. They will work with you until you get the arrangement you have been looking for – bells and whistles or something that is a bit more understated.

8. The Flower Express

Credit: The Flower Express

Credit: The Flower Express

If you are looking for floral arrangements in Vancouver, WA that are a little more unique and fun, then you might want to consider going to The Flower Express. They create shapes and thematic arrangements that will fit just about anyone on your gift list. People love to get arrangements that go a little outside of the typical.

This shop does work with 1-800-flowers to take orders online. This means tht you will be able to see the arrangements before you order, allowing you to make an informed decision. It also helps with personalizing the size of your arrangement. If you don’t want to order online, you can go to their retail location to make your own arrangement or talk to a designer.

Watch Your Love Grow with AK Timber Services

If you want to give your love something that may last as long as your love does, consider going with a different type of plant: a tree. Trees show that you are making a commitment to your loved one and you can watch it grow and prosper like your life and family does.

At AK Timber Services, we can help you pick out a type of tree that will work in your yard. We will discuss your needs, the proper positioning of the tree in your yard, and your visual expectations of the tree. From there, we will help you plant it perfectly so that it has the best chance to succeed.

After that, we can help you will all regular tree maintenance.

Header photo courtesy of Sheila Sund on Flickr!

Where to Get Your Heater Inspected in Vancouver

By AK Timber

Many of us have been there before – you wake up in the middle of the night and your toes are numb, your nose is frigid, and your significant other has all of the covers. It takes you a minute to realize that this type of cold isn’t the normal cold you feel. You listen closely and realize that your worst fears are true: something happened to your heating system and your entire house feels like an icebox.

Of course, it probably also happened when there is a snowstorm outside and the roads are so icy that you can’t go anywhere to warm up. To top it all off, your power might also be out or the internet could be down.

In moments like these, you’ll wish that you had the phone number of someone who could help. Now that you know it is a possibility, take a look at these local Vancouver HVAC and heating companies to see who you want to help you:

1. Smart Choice Heating & Cooling, Inc.

Credit: Smart Choice

Credit: Smart Choice

Smart Choice Heating & Cooling, Inc. is a family owned business that provides trustworthy HVAC services to Vancouver, WA. Their team is comprised of highly skilled technicians with superior products and a dedication to excellence. They keep their business small because they want to deliver personalized attention to every customer.

Their heating (and cooling) work includes repairs, installation, and service.

In particular, they specialize in the “design/installation, replacement, repair, and maintenance of heating and cooling systems.”

If you are looking for something to be more energy efficient and green, they can also help you there. They will provide you the information you need to make an informed decision about what to do for your family.

2. Tri-Tech Heating and Cooling

Since heating pumps are one of the preferred methods of heating in the Pacific Northwest, you might want to write

Credit: Tri-Tech Heat

Credit: Tri-Tech Heat

down the number of a company that specializes in them for repairs, installations, and replacement. One of those companies is definitely Tri-Tech Heating and Cooling.

If you don’t know about heat pumps, the team can also educate you on the different ways they can help your home, allowing you to make an informed decision.

No matter what you decide, everyone on the team is NATE certified and can provide professional installation and maintenance to many different kinds of heating systems. In addition, they will be able to troubleshoot any problems with you and the team quickly and efficiently, heating your home up again.

3. MetFab Heating

Credit: MetFab

Credit: MetFab

For residential or commercial heating, another company to consider is MetFab Heating and Cooling, based out of Clark County. They work closely with you to ensure that your climate-controlled environment is extremely comfortable and works properly.

Utilize their heating, cooking, HVAC maintenance, or repair services for highly trained technicians that won’t only complete the work, they will guarantee it. They are the number one dealer of ductless heat pumps in the area, and when you see their work it is easy to see why.

Their motto is “a different you can feel,” and it is for a great reason. Make sure to put their phone number into your phone so that you can reach out to their skilled team if you run into any problems.

4. Dan’s Top Notch Heating

There are a variety of steps you can take to cut your heating expenses, and one of those is to call up Dan’s Top Notch

Credit: Dan's Top Notch

Credit: Dan’s Top Notch

Heating. Heating and cooling equipment is touchy and dangerous, and you shouldn’t try to take care of the system by yourself. Instead, call up professionals that know what they are doing.

The team at Dan’s Top Notch will schedule annual maintenance checks with you to ensure that your system is running. In this, they will clean your system and check for any problems. They can also install high-efficiency heating systems that will keep your monthly costs low.  If you haven’t had your heating system zoned, definitely give them a call to see the difference.

5. All Seasons Heating and Cooling

Credit: All Seasons

Credit: All Seasons

All Seasons Heating and Cooling is truly a company that will work with you during all seasons. Currently, they service and repair almost all makes and models of furnaces, heat pumps, and other air quality equipment. They have worked with the community in the Vancouver, WA area for almost 26 years, keeping thousands of families warm and comfortable.

They work with systems old and new: gas, electric, or oil. Each member of their team is fully NATE certified and have been tested on different systems and methods for HVAC installation and service.

If you have an emergency, they will be there for you at any time of the day.

6. BlairCo Heating

Credit: Blairco

Credit: BlairCo

BlairCo Heating and Air Conditioning delivers some of the highest rated customer service in the Portland metro area. As a Carrier Factory Authorized dealer and a NW Natural Service Solutions Certified Dealer for over 25 years, they have quite the track record of success.

Their technicians have passed all of the “nationally recognized testing programs developed and supported by all segments of the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning industry.” In fact, they are so practiced that they have handled over 5,000 service calls a year, repairing all brands and types of equipment.

They too offer 24-hour on call response, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.

7. Miller’s Heating and Air Conditioning

Credit: Miller's

Credit: Miller’s

Furnace repairs can be complicated and confusing, depending on what you need to have done. Not only for you, but for the company as well. The team at Miller’s Heating and Air Conditioning workings with you and together to get the best possible solution so that your system works more efficiently and lasts for a long time.

They will talk you through repairs or replacements, giving you an honest read on the situation.

The team at Miller’s is completely licensed and insured. They have been trained to the highest standards, providing the Vancouver area with high-quality repairs and installations. If you want to be impressed, check out some of their reviews on various sources online.

Keep Our Number Too

Your heat breaking isn’t the only thing that you have to worry about. With high winds, ice, and snow falling at heavy rates, your trees also pose a problem. From fallen limbs to completely toppled trees, it can make quite a mess. Whatever you do, do not go out and try to handle the situation yourself, especially if power lines have been compromised.

Our team of professionally trained tree experts will work with you to get the situation cleared up as quickly as possible. Still, the same thing can happen with us as could happen with the HVAC companies, so copy down our numbers:  (360) 635-1076 for the office or (971) 404-7624 for our mobile.

Header photo courtesy of Rising Damp on Flickr!

 

Christmas Light Installations You Have to See in Vancouver

By AK Timber

Every year, Christmas lights displays in Vancouver get bigger and better than they’ve ever been before – and this year is no different. Each lights display is unique and features thousands of bulbs and strands that add just a little bit more magic to the season.

From traditional displays to fanciful ones that highlight popular culture and the year behind us, you’ll find whatever you are looking for without having to travel too far.

Not every city is so lucky, so it is important that we take advantage of the opportunities we’ve been given here. When you are looking to add a little sparkle and shine to your holiday season, check out these local destinations:

1. St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope

Credit: St. Paul

Credit: St. Paul

St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope is a tradition within the community that was eliminated for a little while, but so many people loved it that they had to bring it back. There are over 100,000 light bulbs at this event that span a whopping amount of distance so that people aren’t crowded together.

Even better, this event is a charity campaign that helps promote the hospital and all of its endeavors. The lighting display will be up throughout December and will be open to the public.

They’ve raised millions of dollars and continue to do amazing work.

2. Northwest Window Washing

If the items on this list make you want to get your own Christmas decorations out, but it seems like too much of a

Credit: Northwest Window

Credit: Northwest Window

hassle, consider calling up Northwest Window Washing. This team of professional installers will outfit your home with as many Christmas lights as you want – from just a few strands to enough to make your yard the next great Christmas display.

Working with commercial and private properties, they will talk you through their process and decide what type of design you really want to work with. From there, they do the rest! They are the ones that test each strand of lights, climb the ladder, and ensure that the lines are straight. If lights aren’t your thing, they also have “garland, wreath, trees, topiaries, bows, ornamentals and more.”

3. The Lights of Christmas, Stanwood

Credit: The Lights of Christmas

Credit: The Lights of Christmas

With over one million Christmas lights, The Lights of Christmas in Stanwood, WA is one of the largest displays in the area and it continues to grow. This year, the spectacle will spread out over 15 acres, plenty of room for children and adults to wander around.

The even combines the lights with seasonal food, holiday shopping, children’s activities, live entertainment, and a community environment. If you are looking for something a little longer, there are even some overnight options.

There are different activities throughout the holiday season, so you might even be able to make it back a few times to experience all this place has to offer. Make sure to check out the calendar on their website to find the best activities.

4.  Christmas Ship Festival

The 2nd Annual Christmas Ship Festival parade of boats will take place this year, adding to the already special

Credit: Argosy Cruises

Credit: Argosy Cruises

tradition of Christmas lights on the water. This is a unique experience that will allow you to take in the lights from on the boat and off.

According to the website, going onto the ships offers a great experience: “Every year, the Argosy Christmas Ship sails to different Puget Sound waterfront communities, around 65 in total. Choirs on board give 20-minute performances to these communities, all broadcast via our state-of-the-art speaker system. On shore, thousands of people gather around roaring bonfires anticipating the arrival of the Christmas Ship.”

For those on the shore, you’ll get to see over 65 different ships that have been fully decked out in their Christmas finest.

5.  Garden D’Lights, Bellevue

Credit: Garden D’Lights

Credit: Garden D’Lights

The Garden D’Lights installation in Bellevue focuses on some of the most beautiful parts of our lives. The colors used throughout this display are bright and vivid, yet they  still make you think of Christmas. With over half a million lights that transform the Bellevue Botanical Garden, you are able to forget your cares for a while and just give yourself over to the magic of the season.

While the botanical garden will be a favorite with adults, there are also quite a few activities for children, so don’t be afraid to bring them.

Even if you have been to this display before, make sure to come back because it is always changing.

6. WildLights, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle

If you are up for a little bit of travel, nothing beats the WildLights, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, which combines the

Credit: Woodland Park

Credit: Woodland Park

Christmas spirit with the magic of the zoo. The displays take on a unique feeling because they do center around animals and the zoo. You’ll see cheetahs and lions in towering lights displays next to a beautifully decorated Christmas tree.

Even better, there are live reindeer and chances to bring your dog to meet Santa.

For those with children, or those that are young at heart, the indoor snowball fight is one of the most unique features on the list.

7. Christmas Lights Vancouver

Customized Christmas displays are a great way to put your entire family into the Christmas mood. However, you

Credit: Christmas Lights Vancouver

Credit: Christmas Lights Vancouver

probably don’t have all the time in the world to put together displays like some of the ones on this list. If you’d like to replicate that magic, you should consider reaching out to Christmas Lights Vancouver.

Their team will create a display for you that is unique and special, weaving together technology and classic Christmas design in a way you’ve never seen before. If you have an idea, they will take it and run with it. If you don’t have any ideas, they will walk you through a planning process where you can get what you want.

Brace Yourself – Winter is Coming

This year, the weather is predicted to be particularly tough in Vancouver. While it might mean that we get to see a white Christmas, it could also mean that your trees are in for an incredibly rough year. Make sure you are prepared for the season ahead by giving us a call and asking about our cabling and bracing services.

Cabling and bracing your trees gives them structural support that they sometimes lose due to infestations and bad weather. If you don’t want to lose your tree this year, but you know that it is going to need some help, give us a call. Our team will offer up a free estimate for how much it will cost to save your tree this year.

Header photo courtesy of RisforRndm on Flickr!

 

7 Places to Buy a Christmas Tree in Vancouver, WA

By AK Timber

Weather is unpredictable, especially in the Vancouver area. You never know when something is going to happen that will prevent you from getting your chores or To Do List done. Last year, a family wasn’t able to get a Christmas tree because they waited too long and the bad weather prevented them from getting the kind of tree they wanted. Do not be the person that has to settle for the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. Instead, start shopping early. When you got a Christmas Tree farm where you can cut down your own tree, it will last the entire season.

Take a look at some of the farms that offer this service:

1. Farrell Farms

Credit: Farrell

Credit: Farrell

If you are looking for a little bit of family fun while you are selecting your Christmas tree, consider going to Farrell Farms. This 150 acre Christmas Tree Farm has the country atmosphere along with some of the most beautiful Noble, Nordman, or Grand Fir Christmas trees. All of the trees here are meticulously groomed and cared for, ensuring that whichever one you pick, you will have a tree that lasts a long time.

You are also able to purchase wreaths and beautiful greenery to bring the joy of a Christmas Tree into other areas of your home.

While you are selecting your tree you can drink cider or hot chocolate while enjoying a candy cane by the campfire.

2. Larwick’s Christmas Tree Farm

The Larwick U-cut Christmas Tree Farm has been a favorite since 1990, when 500 Douglas Fir seedlings were

Credit: Larwick

Credit: Larwick

planted. Now they sell a beautiful assortment of over 18,000 Douglas-Fir, Fraser, Noble, and Nordmann trees. Their 20-acre farm is a Christmas Wonderland for families of all sizes, with beautiful decorations, a Santa Gift Shop, and even visits from the man in red.

The trees are selected by you, though the staff will give you guidance over which trees will be the best pick.

On the coldest days, you can get a sweet treat and a hot drink while your tree is shaken and baled. Parents also love the tree stands, wreaths, and garland that you can buy on site. it is a great way to ensure that all of your Christmas decorations are cohesive.

3. Fischer’s U-Cut Christmas Trees

Credit: Fischer's

Credit: Fischer’s

The trees at Fischer’s U-Cut Christmas Tree Farm are absolutely gorgeous, especially if you are looking for a Turkish Fir tree in Vancouver, WA. They also sell absolutely beautiful Nobles and Grand Fir trees too. Each tree is hand tended to so you know that they are the highest quality. Any trees that don’t meet their standards are used for the various crafting classes they have or for wreaths and garland, which you can also purchase. Even the stumps are used for firewood.

Make sure to give yourself plenty of time because you are going to need it to look at everything they have to offer. Consider signing up for one of their classes as well, especially the ones where you can make your own decorations.

4. Lone Cedar Tree Farm

Noble fir trees are really some of the biggest stars in the Christmas tree world. They are full, lush, green, and

Credit: Lone Cedar

Credit: Lone Cedar

extremely fragrant. Not only that but they tend to stay alive a lot longer than other types of trees.

For the family that is looking for an experience, but maybe not one that lasts all day, the Lone Cedar Tree Farm has Christmas trees that will match any style. Trees range from small (4 feet) to larger (12 feet and over).

It’s really simple: you park in their parking lot, find the tree you want, cut it down (or have someone cut it down for you), shake and bale the tree, and get on your way. They’ll even help you load your tree.

If it gets too cold out there, make sure to take some time to warm your hands by the fire.

5. Tree Wisemans

Credit: Tree Wisemans

Credit: Tree Wisemans

If you are looking for a tree that is large and ready to be decorated with hundreds of decorations and yards of garland, then you might want to head over to Tree Wisemans. They specialize in growing trees that are taller, some even going up to 15 or 16 feet. These trees are specially taken care of so that they are healthy and ready for cutting – they aren’t the “freaks” that grew a little bit taller than the rest. Choose from Douglas-Fir, Fraser, Grand, and Noble.

Services to their trees include flocking, fire retarding, and baling. They will also help you attach the tree to your car.

People love to come here because of cleanliness and the friendliness of the staff that really brings in the Christmas season. Espresso and hot chocolate on weekends are available on weekends.

6. Thortons’ Treeland

For kids, there is no place better than Thortons’ Treeland. Not only do they get to select a Christmas tree, but they

Credit: Thortons'

Credit: Thortons’

also get to partake in a petting zoo, walk around an old barn, listen to Christmas music, take a hay ride, and go shopping in a hand crafted gift shop. For them, there is no place better to be, even if they have to be bundled up.

Choose from Douglas Fir, Fraser Fir, Grand Fir, and Noble Fir.

Parents love Thortons’ because everything is clean, there is no mud, and the trees are fantastic. Their trees range from short to extremely tall, so everyone can find something here. There is even a small number of layered nobles. As an added bonus, there is even a Christmas tree stand called the “Marriage Saving Tree Stand” which helps make that process easier.

7. LA Center Farms

Credit: LA Center

Credit: LA Center

If you are interested in starting a tradition, consider going to one of the most scenic Christmas tree farms in all of Vancouver, LA Center Christmas Tree Farm. They have a family-friendly atmosphere with just a little bit of Christmas mischief hidden amongst the soaring trees. With over 70-acres, you are sure to find something that you’ll love.

You get to cut down your own tree here, choosing one from among thousands of Douglas, Grand, and Noble Fir. Once you’ve selected your tree, they will shake and bale it. For children, hot cocoa and cartoons will keep them occupied.

Make sure to check on their website for a coupon.

AK Timber Keeps You In Line For The Rest of The Year

Your trees are important, all of them. When you are thinking about your Christmas tree, don’t forget about your live trees. When the temperature turns cold, your trees aren’t given the chance to thrive. We can help you situate your soil and prepare for the cold season. Even better, we can help you make it so that your trees won’t experience too much damage during the winter season.

Whether this means we need to trim them so that they don’t fall on a wire or we need to treat them for an infestation of something trying to get warm this winter, you need to take care of your trees. Give us a call and we will be able to give you a free estimate for our work.

Header photo courtesy of Frank Weber on Flickr!

8 Scary Things to Get Checked Before Winter

By AK Timber

You can feel it in the air, especially in the mornings, that winter is just around the corner. When the weather gets colder, you start to have a new set of problems. Last month we talked about things that you could do during the fall to get ready but you might not want to do by yourself. This month, we are going to highlight the things that you really should have a professional take a look at.

These are things that require someone with training and experience to take care of, no matter how severe or easy the fix is. Taking care of some things on this list will make your life a lot easier if the winter, even if we don’t necessarily expect to get weather that is too awful.

Take a look and decide what you need to get taken care of before the cold hits:

1. Your Chimney by Matchbox Chimney Sweep

Credit: Matchbox

Credit: Matchbox

Throughout the winter, your chimney will start to develop accumulation on the inside that can be bothersome at best and downright dangerous at worst. You have to get your chimney cleaned properly, both the inside and outside, before you burn. This is a time-consuming job if it hasn’t been done in a few years, and it takes a practiced hand to do so without ruining anything.

At Matchbox Chimney Sweep, they have equipment for chimneys large and small, including “a RoVac vacuum system, with HEPA filtration, to ensure that our work is done in a clean and professional manner.” They will also look out for the integrity of your chimney. If they think you need repairs, they will point you in the right direction.

2. Your Car by Ron’s Automotive

Winter months mean that your car needs to be performing at its absolute best or you might not be safe when

Credit: Ron's Automotive

Credit: Ron’s Automotive

traveling. Ice, snow, and even debris left on the road can become increasingly dangerous as the temperatures drop, especially if you drive at night.

The team at Ron’s Automotive will work with you to prepare your car for the season. They know that getting your car fixed and tuned-up isn’t always the best. Still, the knowledgeable and friendly staff makes it a lot easier to deal with. They also provide vehicle shuttle services and have snacks while you wait.

If you do find yourself in an accident, give them a call for their 24-hour towing services.

3. Your Plumbing by All County Plumbing

Credit: All County

Credit: All County

This next idea is incredibly important if you like to leave the Vancouver area and go somewhere warmer during the cold months. We’ve all seen it happen to other people and we don’t think it could happen to us – but it happens a lot more frequently than you’d think. Plumbing breaks more often during the winter months because of freezing water that expands.

If something were to happen, call All County Plumbing and they will help you take care of it. Their team is well qualified to handle jobs of any size and their expertise makes solving the problem easier.

However, if you can stop the problem before it starts, that would be even better. Getting routine maintenance to problematic pipes or just an inspection to see if there are any problems is in your best interests. Give All County a call today to take advantage of their amazing team.

4. Your Wiring by Compass Electrician

While terrible storms are rare, there have been times when people lost their electric during a pretty severe storm

Credit: Compass

Credit: Compass

during the winter months. When this happens, you can lose your lights, your refrigerator, and your clocks. If you don’t have a generator, it is bad news. Even worse, once you lose your electric and it comes back, it can reveal problems that were previously hidden.

Compass Electric LLC is a local electrical contractor that does extremely efficient work. Their team is fully trained and insured in the newest and best ways to handle jobs of any size. Everyone is extremely friendly, walking and talking you through some of the problems that might have emerged and telling you how to avoid them, if possible.

They can also do installation work if you think the time is now for something new and fun.

5. Your Gutters by Right Way Gutters

Credit: Right Way Gutters

Credit: Right Way Gutters

All throughout the year, debris hangs around inside your gutters. Thanks to the beautiful weather we have here, people do tend to take care of their gutters. Still, sometimes people forget that sitting water can develop during the winter months when things start to freeze up, and that sitting water can spell big trouble.

Right Way Gutters is a local business that will clean and repair your gutters for you. Their team is adept at spotting damage and fixing it before it can get too bad. Typically these are minor repairs like bending, warping, or lose installation points. They can also install gutters in different colors and finishes if yours a looking a little worse for the wear.

Make sure to ask them about how your roof looks as well, or you might need the next company…

6. Your Roof by Legit Roofing

If you have something unfortunate happen with your home during this season, you are going to want to get a new

Credit:

Credit: Legit Roofing

roof as soon as possible. A poor roof or a poorly insulated roof can really bring up your heating bills and allow your house to have that “damp” feeling that no one likes.

Legit Roofing, which is located in Vancouver, is a full-service roofing company that many people have gotten stellar results from. They are committed to their job, working around problems and continuing tirelessly until everything is as you had hoped.

According to their website: “Each Legit Roofing project is custom-designed to meet our clients’ individual needs, and all of our materials and products are of the highest quality. Our employees are all trained in a wide variety of roofing applications and safety standards. When you need roofing services, look no further than Legit Roofing.”

7. Your Furnace by Dan’s Top Notch

Your furnace is pretty much the star of the winter season. It helps to keep the chill out of your home, making it a safe

Credit: Dan's Top Notch

Credit: Dan’s Top Notch

haven away from the elements. That is part of what makes this season so cheerful. Unfortunately, many people don’t think about testing out their heater until that chill is already in the air. This season, stay ahead of the curve and check sooner. Even better, get maintenance to ensure that it works at its best.

Dan’s Top Notch Heating is a local business that does impressive work. They have annual maintenance packages that will have your HVAC system working like new again. If they spot problems, it will probably be a money-saver in the long run because they can fix it now instead of when it gets worse. Everyone on the team is extremely nice and, more importantly, educated in all the tricks and techniques that they need to be.

8. Your Trees by AK Timber Services

Credit: AK

Credit: AK

Trees are beautiful but dangerous things, especially when ice and snow starts to fall. Unfortunately, there are too many instances of “everything would have been okay but that tree fell and things got really bad.” Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to prevent something like that from happening.

The first is that you can get an inspection by a certified and insured team, like the one at AK Timber Services. Then, you can have the problem areas fixed. It is that simple. Sometimes our team won’t find any problems. Sometimes it will be something simple and easy like a limb hanging too close to wires or a dead limb that should be removed. Sometimes it isn’t as easy, like an entire tree that needs to come down. Still, our team is equipped to handle any and all of that.

Emergency Tree Service in Vancouver, WA

Even if you don’t heed our warnings and get your trees checked in the fall, we will still be there for you. After a storm, you might need help with emergency clean up or emergency tree removal. Instead of stressing over trying to figure it all out yourself, reach out to our team and we will help you – we are only a call away.

Header photo courtesy of Taz on Flickr!

Preparing for Fall: 8 Companies for the Best Fall in Vancouver

By AK Timber

Fall creeps in quietly – so quietly that at times, you don’t even notice it is coming until you have to pull out a sweater or the leaves start to fall. In Vancouver, we can have some wild weather around this season, which only adds to the stress. When September rolls around, that means that it is time for school to start, practices to begin, work to amp up, holiday shopping to start, and your time gets shorter and shorter.

It doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to be stressed in fall – you can have fun and make memories that will last a lifetime. These companies will help you:

1. Vancouver Pumpkin Patch

Credit: Vancouver Patch

Credit: Vancouver Patch

Nothing says autumn like carving a pumpkin – whether it is a success or a failure. At Vancouver Pumpkin Patch, kids of any age will be able to search for the best pumpkins around. This could take hours because there is quite a selection of pumpkins from very small to very, very large.

You can really get into the holiday spirit with the hay pyramid, hay tunnel, and hay maze and other fun activities that will get your kids moving. For those who aren’t as adventurous, there is usually a costume party and storytime sessions.

Finally, there are tons of fresh and new options each year, so be sure to pay attention to the latest releases on their website. Last year, it was an 835-pound pumpkin.

2. All Fixes Handyman

It seems like anything that could go wrong with your yard happens during the late summer and early fall. This is

Credit: All Fixes Handyman

Credit: All Fixes Handyman

partly because it gets such a beating from children and visitors throughout the summer. It is also because of the change in temperature that causes expansion. Still, it can be difficult to keep up with everything that you need to do. That’s where All Fixes Handyman comes into play – they can help you with just about everything, including “hanging walls, shade covers, bridges, trellises, arbors, benches, outdoor rooms, patios, fire pits, sculptures, ponds, dry streams, waterfalls, pergolas, fire pits, fencing, edging, picnic areas, and fountains.”

If you have a problem that you needs to be corrected, run it by All Fixes Handyman.

3. Mike and Dad’s Hauling

Credit: Mike and Dad's

Credit: Mike and Dad’s

Why you should trust Mike and Dad’s Hauling is expressly stated on their website: “Since 1989, Mike and Dad’s Hauling has served Vancouver. We pride ourselves on our impeccable reputation which we have built one customer at a time.” They don’t just talk the talk, either – they walk the walk.

Mike and Dad’s works with both commercial and residential properties to haul off junk and garbage that you have sitting around your yard. Whether you are doing a lot of yard work or cleaning out your kid’s room after he goes off to college, you probably have a lot of junk sitting around. While the air is cold,  get rid of it!

Give Mike and Dad’s Hauling a call and they will give you an estimate and a timeline.

4. Means Nursery

Credit: Means

Credit: Means

Means Nursery is a great place to go if you are looking to add a little bit of fall color to your yard. From the muted orange shades to the dusty reds, you’ll be able to find something great here. The nursery is known for having a wide selection in terms of sizes and colors. They also keep everything natural and they know their plants – which is extremely important.

If you are looking for tools to make your autumn work a little easier, they also sell tools and other goodies for yard cleanup.

5. New Leaf Pest Control

When fall comes, it is also the time where bats and other pests come out to play. One of the biggest problems for

Credit: A New Leaf

Credit: A New Leaf

people around Vancouver is mice. They come into our homes to eat our great foods and share our warmth. Another problem is bed bugs – the soft fabric of backpacks is the perfect place for them to hide.

New Leaf Pest Control helps prevent and/or fix any of these problems in a safe way. Their approach is green so that your children and pets will be safe. They are also willing to work on preventative tactics so that you can sleep easily at night.

Give them a call right away if you think you hear something or see something that shouldn’t be there – you don’t want any pests to bring friends.

6. Sunmark Seeds

Soil is an important part of the health of your trees during the colder months. If you have poor soil, your trees won’t

Credit: Sunmark

Credit: Sunmark

get the nutrition that they need. While it is still warm enough to work outside, add some new soil around your trees and plants.

Sunmark Seeds has a few different types of seeds to help with the erosion control thanks to all of the soaking rain, including EC Seed. Turf Seed helps to keep your lawn plush throughout the season, especially if you have a commercial property that you need to look its best. Wildflower seed is specially fortified for our area to give you the best results. Finally, Forage Seed helps those in the agriculture business.

They are willing to work with you on just about anything, so give them a call.

7. Velvet Acres Gardens

Credit: Velvet Acres

Credit: Velvet Acres

Fresh produce seems to get all of the credit during the summer months, but it seems to fall by the wayside once autumn comes around. At Velvet Acres Gardens, the produce is picked every day so that it is always fresh and ready to go.  Whether you want apples or squash, they will have the best selection around.

During the fall months, they have something even better – a fall festival with a gorgeous pumpkin patch. Searching through the fields for the prime pumpkin is a memory that will stay with you forever. They also sell vegetables, decorative pumpkins, gourdes, and more.  For those with a more adventurous side, there is a hay tunnel, some hay rides, and antique tractors.

8. AK Timber Services

Of course, AK Timber Services is also there to help you prepare for fall and get through the season. Our team

Credit: AK Timber

Credit: AK Timber

is licensed, bonded, and insured in both Washington & Oregon to help you with tree care – whether that means you want to get trees removed before they start to drop leaves (a popular option) or you need some limbs trimmed, we are there to help you.

Serving both residential and commercial clients, we can help you keep your trees healthy throughout any season of the year and we can even up your property value. It all starts with a phone call, so give us a call at (360) 635-1076 to have a discussion about what you need, want, and expect.

Start Winter Preparation Now

Winter is going to be here much sooner than you think, which means you need to prepare. Ugly weather and ice can really do a number to your trees, which can then affect everything else in your yard. AK Timber Services offers tree risk assessment to keep that from happening. Our team will look over each and every inch of the tree or trees in your yard to find any problem areas – and then we will suggest fixes.

If you’ve never had a tree inspection before, or if you are new to your home and aren’t sure about the health of the trees, we can help you sleep more peacefully at night.

Header photo courtesy of Valerie Hinojosa on Flickr!