Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Beauty of the Flowering Crab Tree

Crabapple trees are often called the jewels of the landscape.  Indeed, in every season, they are beautiful.  There are few plants that create greater visual impact during all four seasons than the flowering crabapple. In the spring, delicate colors are offered by emerging leaves and buds. Unopened flower buds may hint of one color and as flowers open, other hues are revealed in a spectacular floral display. As flowers fade the rich foliage offers another subtle contribution to the landscape.

To keep your tree looking beautiful every season it is imperative that you keep the tree healthy and free from the diseases that crabtrees commonly catch.

Flowering crabapples should thrive in rich loam type soil (a combination of clay, silt, and sand). Regardless of soil type, good drainage is a must for tree health. Crabapples grow best in a moist, slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.0 to 6.5. Excessively moist areas and low spots should be avoided. On the other hand, relatively dry sites can be tolerated by crabapples if plant stresses are minimized during the first year after transplanting.

Plant stress, evidenced as unhealthy appearance (e.g. leaf scorch, poor leaf color), is a response to unfavorable environmental conditions. Drought stress, for example, is due to a lack of water, either from rainfall or irrigation. 

Water is essential for every life function of the plant. However, too much water or over-watering, a persistent saturation of the roots, can lead to root rot and eventual plant death. Other plant stresses include too much shade, insect damage, infectious diseases, and physical damage from lawnmowers, weed-eaters, animals, and children playing.

Full sun exposure, 8 to 12 hours of direct sun, is required for optimal development of fruits and flowers. Most flowering crabapples are hardy and can endure the colder temperature extremes of zone 4 on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone maps.

Flowering crabapples may be planted almost any time of the year. Balled and burlapped (B&B) stock and containerized trees can be planted any time after spring frosts end through fall until about three weeks before the ground freezes. However, bare root trees should only be planted in the spring. Bare root trees become too stressed if planting is delayed past early spring.

Every effort should be made to keep roots or the root ball from drying out before planting. For bare root trees, the planting hole should be dug wide and deep enough to allow for the natural extension of the root system. None of the roots should be cramped or bent to fit into the hole. This can result in girdling (strangling) roots that will slowly kill the tree. Damaged roots should be pruned just above the break or damaged area prior to planting.

Place a thin layer of mulch, no more than two inches deep, around the tree to help reduce water loss. Turfgrasses will compete with the young tree for water and nutrients. Keep turfgrasses away from the rooting area of the planted tree to provide optimal conditions for tree establishment and survival. The young tree will need about one inch of water, rain or otherwise, per week. These subsequent weekly waterings, during the first year, are crucial for tree establishment.

When crabapples are planted in a soil of average fertility and provided moderate amounts of organic matter, they need little additional fertilizer the first year. However, if annual growth is less than five to six inches or leaves are small or pale green, then fertilizer is essential. 

Crabapples require little pruning. Watersprouts (rapidly growing shoots from branches), suckers (rapidly growing shoots from roots or base of tree), dead, diseased, damaged, and crossing branches should be removed. Occasionally pruning is necessary to open up the center of the plant to sunlight and air movement or to remove a wayward branch.

When pruning is done it should be completed before early June. By mid-June to early July, flower buds for the next season are beginning to form in most crabapples. Pruning after July will reduce floral display and fruiting for the following year.

If trees are well established after the first year, little additional watering is needed unless drought conditions prevail. In a drought situation it is necessary to water thoroughly and deeply every two or three weeks. Depending on the soil type and drought severity, two to six inches of water should be applied at each watering interval.

If crabapples are not watered during periods of drought they will not collapse and die. However, the trees will use most of their carbohydrates to merely exist and survive. As a result, the next year's floral and fruit display will likely be diminished.

Many new flowering crabapples are disease resistant or tolerant. Disease resistance involves genetic resistance to infection by disease causing organisms. Disease tolerance implies the plant may be affected by certain diseases but are of little health significance to the plant.

Unfortunately, few crabapples possess all desirable characteristics of exquisite flowers, fruit, foliage, growth habit, and disease resistance. This does not mean that other cultivars should not be used. Many crabapples are slightly susceptible to certain diseases and yet have great merit. By accepting and understanding their limitations, these plants are perfectly acceptable in many landscape situations.

Apple Scab. This fungal disease first affects emerging leaves in the spring, during moist conditions, and then moves to the fruit. Scab causes dark, leathery spots with a corky appearance on the fruit. On leaves, scab infections first appear in May or early June as olive-green or oil-soaked spots. On mature leaves, the infections appear as black, velvety spots that are slightly raised. As the disease develops, leaves turn yellow and drop prematurely. If the tree is heavily infected, defoliation can occur by early summer.
Control can be achieved one of two ways. Remove the trees that are highly susceptible and select other less susceptible disease-resistant crabapples. Alternatively, apply fungicides as leaves begin to emerge, at two weeks and again four weeks after the first application.

Frog-eye Leaf Spot.  Symptoms of this fungal disease are typically small, dark brown spots (dead leaf tissue) outlined by a thick, dark purple circle. Frog-eye leaf spot is found commonly on many flowering crabapples and its effect, from heavy defoliation to no impact, depends upon susceptibility to this fungus.
The best course of action is to select crabapples which are resistant or tolerant to this disease.

Fireblight. This devastating disease is caused by a bacterium, Erwinia amylovora. Symptoms appear as death of new terminal shoots in late spring or early summer. These shoots appear to be scorched by fire. The leaves remain attached to the blighted shoot which develops a characteristic curvature at the tip, commonly called a "shepherd's crook."

Fireblight often progresses down through the shoot and forms a canker in the older tissue. Cankers are typically sunken areas that are dark brown to purplish in color. An orange or amber gum may ooze from these infected parts. As the bark dies, the area becomes slightly depressed.
Control of fireblight can be easily achieved if these guidelines are followed. First and foremost, select plants that are genetically resistant to fireblight. If that is not an option then sanitation, removal, and disposing of blighted branches and shoots are the best alternatives.

Insects & Pests. Flowering crabapples are relatively undamaged by most insects. Although they are frequented by various types of caterpillars, leafhoppers, leaf-rollers, leafminers, and Japanese beetles, these pests rarely cause significant damage to the tree. The nest forming caterpillars (i.e. eastern tent caterpillar, fall webworm) are easily pruned out or removed with a gloved hand.
Japanese beetles and other pests are easily controlled with insecticides. Control may be warranted in young trees if one-third to one-half of the foliage is affected.

Trees are a big investment and you don't want to leave your trees unprotected.  If you are unsure of how to care for your trees, or simply don't have the time, then you can trust your trees to Trees "R" Us, Inc. We have 5 certified arborists on staff to address your tree care questions and provide you with tree maintenance plans.  Our Plant Health Care division specializes in fertilization and treating and preventing tree diseases like Apple Scab.  The season is upon us.  You need to keep your trees healthy starting now.  Contact Trees "R" Us, Inc. to protect your trees and your investment.  Check us out at  Call or email to set up your Plant Health Care consultation at 847-913-9069 or

Thanks for reading ,

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Last tip on this series - talk to a certified arborist

I've been blogging about spring cleaning and not to forget your trees when you are doing your spring spruce up.  My last tip for you is to get in touch with an ISA Certified Arborist now to discuss your specific landscape needs. They can spot problems that need your attention before they develop or advance too far. They can also make sure that you are in tune with how to best care for your trees and provide accurate advice so that you can keep them green on your own.  You need to do this now, early in the growing season to have the best results for your trees.  Early prevention is the key to lush, mature trees that last many, many years.

If you are in the Chicagoland area, Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree care service that has 5 certified arborists on staff to help you care for your trees.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. services the north shore area and the northwest suburbs of Chicago.  You can request an appointment with us on our website at,  by calling 847-913-9069 or via an email to  For those of you not in the Chicagoland area, for more information on how to find a certified arborist or tree care company in your area and for other tree tips, visit or

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tip # 5 - It's all in the soil

A soil sample can alert you to any nutrient deficiencies in your trees. Have a specialist come out and take a sample before you start a fertilization program of any kind. Prescription programs are much more precise than blanket programs and they can help you to save money if fertilizer and additives are not needed.

This is all part of plant health care (PHC).  Yes, plants have health care plans too!  PHC is an ever growing area of tree care and maintenance.  A professional tree care company should have a PHC division and it should be run by certified arborists.  The arborists can assess the needs of your trees and provide you with a maintenance plan to keep your trees healthy for years to come, all-the-while protecting your investment and increasing your property value. 

Trees "R" Us, Inc.'s PHC division includes the knowledge and dedication of 5 certified arborists.  Our arborists bring years of experience and unlimited knowledge on the subject of tree care.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. services Chicago's North Shore area and its surrounding suburbs.  To find out more about PHC, check out our website at or call us 847-913-9069.

Thanks for reading, 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Another Tip - Leave the leaves, but not around your plantings

To continue to my series of blog posts about how to get your trees ready for the upcoming growing season, here's another tip that is very important, yet often overlooked.  

You should always remove old leaves and needles that fell from the fall and winter from your plantings and transfer them to a separate area of your yard. Don't get rid of them, just move them to a better location.  

If the trees in your landscape are susceptible to certain fungal problems (such as dogwood or sycamore anthractnose and pines affected by diplodia tip blight), removing leaf and needle debris will help reduce this effect.

Let me clarify that leaf litter is generally a good thing, but for the plantings in our yard, it is just too much.  

Leaf litter is truly an environmental windfall. Fallen leaves act as a wildlife boon enriching soil, providing a down-like comforter for small critters, and even benefiting bird species.

Mother Nature does not remove fallen leaves-and for good reason. Leaf litter provides food and shelter for earthworms, pill bugs, millipedes and a multitude of smaller life such as eggs and larvae of insects and spiders of many kinds. These creatures are all essential components of the food web providing sustenance to toads, frogs, lizards, and countless other animals.

Nearly all backyard birds require protein from insects to feed their young. A yard without theses elements is a yard devoid of life.

But, the story of leaves goes even deeper into the web of life in the soil itself. Leaf litter fosters living soils with vast numbers of beneficial soil bacteria and fungi working together to build healthy soil and to nourish plants.

The way leaf litter works is healthy soil web breaks leaf litter into a rich, organic layer that supports life both above and below the soil's surface. Treating soil instead with concentrated fertilizers drives away earthworms and kills nurturing bacteria and fungi. Without the buffering action of bacteria and fungi, the soil's pH (acid/base balance) is thrown out of whack. The soil then slowly loses the ability to hold air and water and to fight off disease.

As leaf litter breaks down, it slowly releases nutrients to the soil and plants, diminishing toxic fertilizer runoff into waterways.

But our yards are different from forests and rangeland. Sometimes fallen leaves are just too much, threatening to smother lawns and perennials. Rather than waste this leafy resource, blow or rake excess leaves to an unused area of the yard or compost to create a free, nutritious, and water conserving amendment for your garden next year. To speed decomposition, try grinding or chopping leaves with a chipper or weed eater. On the lawn, use a mulching or rotary lawnmower to shred the leaves; leave in place to nourish the grass and reduce water needs. If you truly cannot use all your leaves, perhaps a neighbor would welcome your contribution.

Be sure to keep litter and mulch away from plant stems and trunks to prevent crown rot. And, some plants that naturally grow in rocky, dry terrain should not be mulched with additional organic material.
Leaf litter that collects below diseased plants is best disposed of entirely. Examples are roses, peonies, iris, and hollyhocks that are frequently plagued with fungal diseases. Fruit tree leaf fall is also best removed to prevent possible reinfestation with certain diseases and insects.

Avoid sending other plant materials to a landfill whenever possible. Transporting debris creates pollution and once in the landfill, yard waste consumes huge amounts of space and generates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

Leave the leaves to save time and money, enrich soil, help sustain wildlife, and benefit water and air quality. Mother Nature will thank you.

Confused as to what your trees need, what kind of trees you  have, or how to properly maintain them.  The Trees "R" Us, Inc. team is here to answer all your tree care and maintenance questions.  With clients all over the North Shore and Chicago's suburbs, we have the experience and the equipment to answer your questions and get the job done quickly, safely and properly.  Protect your investment in your trees and landscaping by contacting Trees "R" Us, Inc.  Visit our website at, call us at 847-913-9069 or email me, the owner directly at  We welcome your inquiries!

Thanks for reading, 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tip #3 - Watch Your Sprinkler Systems

Another tip I can give you to start this growing season off right is to pay attention to your sprinkler system.  It is not enough to just turn on your sprinklers and let them run.  You need to pay attention where the water is going and how it is being absorbed.  

Now is the time to make any necessary adjustments to your sprinkler system. Watch to see if there is any water pooling around trees and provide a remedy if there is. 

Also watch to ensure that plants that are prone to fungal problems are not sprayed directly with sprinklers, which could result in a severe issue if left as is. For example, if your sprinklers are spraying the foliage of a dogwood tree, it may be more likely to host powdery mildew and anthracnose. A mugo pine battling with diplodia tip blight will have more trouble defending itself with the extra watering. 

Be sure to look into the needs of each species within the sprinkler’s reach.

If your plants are not responding well to the watering, then I would suggest calling an arborist to help you determine what the problem is.  We at Trees "R" Us, Inc. are happy to have 5 certified arborists to help you handle issues just like this.  You can do extensive and severe damage to your trees if they don't receive the proper care.  So be sure to protect your investment by consulting with a professional tree care company when you are in question about the health of your trees.

Thanks for Reading,

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tip #2 - Maximize Your Mulch

As promised, here's another tip to help you with your spring 'cleaning'. You definitely should not forget about your trees and landscaping when you clean up this spring.

I've already covered how important pruning is to your the health of your trees.  However, mulching around your trees is equally as important.

Trees and landscape beds respond well to being mulched. You should first remove competing grass away from the trunks of trees and plants to help them flourish. Just remember that, in this case, more is not better. Keep mulch thickness down to just a few inches and pull it back near the trunk to avoid contact as if mulch is piled around the trunk, it holds moisture and heat. This can cause developments of cankers and other ailments. It also encourages a secondary roots system to develop above the primary one, which could include girdling roots.

This is the time of year that every landscape and garden center is advertising mulch.  I will warn you not to skimp on mulch.  Not only is proper mulching important, but also is using quality mulch, preferably organic.  If you are uncertain about what kind of mulch to use or what the difference is between some mulch varieties, check out our website,

We offer 7 different varieties of mulch and will even deliver them right to your yard. Just give us a call at 847-366-8869 to place your order and schedule delivery.

Don't miss out on our HUGE mulch sale going on right now!  Our double processed and triple processed mulch is on sale only while supplies last, so act fast!  Double processed mulch is now just $20/yard.  Triple processed is $25 yer yard.  Don't miss out on this unbelievable deal!

Thanks for Reading,

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Steps to Take this Spring to Properly Care for Your Trees

Spring is an exciting time as the weather changes, trees start budding and we all get motivated to get some spring cleaning under way.  Now, I would assume on your list of things to clean are window sills, decks, porches and patio furniture.  But are your trees on your list?

Landscaping and trees must not be forgotten!  Keeping trees and landscaping takes constant commitment and, the time to start, if you haven't already, is NOW!

As we turn away from the harsh winter months and head toward the growing season, here are some tips to help keep your trees and plants healthy.  For the next few days, I'll tackle one tip at a time and give you detailed information to help you with your 'spring cleaning'.

The best time to prune trees and shrubs varies depending upon species and desired results. I would recommend contacting an arborist to help you determine when to prune the trees on your property.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. has 5 certified arborists on staff that will assess your trees and give you a plan to follow.

Pruning during the “dormant season,” or when the trees have no leaves, is usually best. This is the time to prune young trees for future structure, remove live limbs that are too low or close to the house, and remove limbs that might have been damaged in winter storms. 

Keep in mind, though, that dead and damaged limbs can be pruned any time throughout the year and should be removed promptly for safety reasons.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. specializes in tree maintenance, removal and emergency tree services.  Visit for more information.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, March 19, 2012


It's time to start mulching and we have a very special offer for you!  Our biggest sale of the season has officially started.  We are offering our Premium Mulch at an unbeatable price of just $20 per yard!  Super premium mulch is now just $25 per yard.  These are wholesale prices direct to YOU!  You can order mulch simply by calling us at 847-366-8869.

Our Premium Mulch has been double processed (or double ground) and has a rich chocolate color, while the Super Premium Mulch has been triple processed (or triple ground) and is dark chocolate in color.

All mulch products help to maintain soil moisture and control weeds. Premium shredded wood mulches decompose over time into a rich black soil and are best suited to amending soil properties. Mulches should be applied to the surface and not mixed into the soil. Organic mulches also alter the structure of the soil, bringing an almost immediate effect to plant development and root growth. Organic varieties of premium mulch products enhance soil quality and add aesthetic beauty to the landscape.

Order NOW as this offer only lasts as long as there's product.  Once the mulch is gone, so is this unbeatable offer.  Act NOW before it is too late!

We also offer delivery.  Call us at 847-366-8869 for our affordable delivery prices.

This offer is brought to you by Organic Solutions, Inc., a sister company to Trees "R" Us, Inc.  Organic Solutions, Inc. offers 7 varieties of mulch at our 2 locations.  We are conveniently located in Long Grove and Wauconda.  Our service area includes the North Shore region and Chicago's Northwest suburbs.  Please visit our website at for additional information.

Thanks for reading.  Now order your mulch!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

What all this Unseasonably Warm Weather Means for Your Trees and Plants.

What a fabulous March we are having!  We were granted another day of record breaking warm temperatures in Chicagoland.  My kids are loving bike rides to the park in shorts and t-shirts and the sound of the ice cream man's truck for the first time this season.  The plants and trees are also enjoying this weather.  We are surrounded by bright yellow daffodils and purple crocus. Even starts of hostas are starting to sprout.  
However, there are predictions of cold weather that will be threatening to make a comeback in coming weeks, which could kill off the early-blooming flowers and crops.
Once plants get started, it is hard to slow them down.  It is if they are waking up, and they’re ready to go without hesitation.  
Our record-breaking temperatures have climate experts wary of the abnormally prolonged period of warm weather that started this week and is expected to continue into next.
This warm spell has kick-started the growing season 2-3 weeks, if not more, ahead of schedule.  
Records show the last similar warm spell happened in 1945.  Each time unseasonably warm temperatures arrived in March in the past, they were then followed by periods of freezing weather.  
In fact, the number of freezing temperature events from April through June is more than 10 for those months.  It’s been as cold in the single digits in early April.  It seems hard to believe that we could go from the 80s to single digits.  It is hard on us to adjust, but just imagine what that would do to your fragile plants and trees.
The problem is fruits, such as some apples and apricots, and early-blooming plants, such as peonies and some types of tulips, spend winter in a dormant state.
When unseasonably warm temperatures come about, especially for a prolonged period of time, the plants and fruits begin sprouting, she said.
Gardeners can take certain precautions to guard sprouts and buds against the cold, Finneran said, such as putting a tarp over flowerbeds prior to freezing weather.
But such measures are difficult when attempting to protect trees and bushes from chilly temperatures.
We certainly are not out of the woods with regard to cold weather, and the more soft (plant) tissue is exposed, the greater risk that you’re going to lose leaves, chutes, buds, flower buds and fruits if we have a significantly cold pattern.
If we see magnolias pushing out and we get a really hard freeze, they’re toast.
It is possible, that the coming weeks defy history and avoid freezing temperatures altogether.
But given the past climate and climatology, we almost certainly will see colder weather.  So be prepared to give your plants and trees the protection they need from the cold.
Thanks for reading, 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions about Mulch

I always seem to get the same 3 questions about mulch.  So, thought I'd cover them today in some detail.  Free free to pass this on to the gardeners and landscapers in your life.Steaming mulch

Why should I mulch?

Mulch helps control soil temperature and is an effective method of preventing weed growth. Mulch prevents light from reaching the soil surface, denying young weeds the opportunity to build a root system. As well as inhibiting weed growth, organic mulches add nutrients to the soil as it decays. A quality fabric barrier between the mulch and the soil enables soil to retain moisture, maximizing the effectiveness of watering while allowing water and nutrients to flow to the soil. A layer of 2-5 inches of bark mulch is recommended for a good, effective covering. Applied correctly, mulch can eliminate or greatly reduce the need for trimming and weed removal in your lawn and garden. It can also provide a very attractive ground cover in your display beds.

When should I mulch?

Mulch can be applied anytime throughout the year. However, because of the insulating properties of mulch, some seasons are more desirable than others. In the cold winter months, apply it only 1 inch thick to insulate the ground to prevent soil warming. Since spring is the planting season, remember to push aside mulch from newly planted seeds, seedlings, and bulbs. In a vegetable garden, mulching should not be done until the tomatoes blossom. In the fall when mulching around transplants, a 5 inch coverage is needed to delay frost penetration, allowing more time for root growth.

How should I mulch?

The area(s) should be cleared of all weeds, leaves and grass. If you are preparing an area on an established lawn, make sure you strip the sod completely. Edge around the entire border of your landscape area. If you are replenishing the mulch on an existing area, be sure to loosen up the old mulch. Using your hands to spread the mulch produces the best results. Use a thickness of 2 to 5 inches, not allowing the mulch to make direct contact with the plants. This avoids disease problems. When finished, the mulch should be watered down to put moisture in it and help it to settle into place.

As owner of a mulching business, Organic Solutions, Inc., I feel that I am an expert when it comes to mulching and hope you found this helpful.  Should you need any mulch, Organic Solutions, Inc. offers 7 different varieties of mulch.

Cedar - Light golden color and a natual insect deterent.
Leaf Mulch - Living and organic blend with beneficial fingi to help soil restoration.
Dark Chocolate - All organic (dies) to extend life.
Cherry Red - All organic (dies) to extend life.
Super Premium Mulch - Triple ground with a dark chocolate color.
Premium Mulch - Double ground with a chocolate color.
Arborist Chips - Single ground mulch.

 Contact us at 847-366-8869 for more information on any of these products.  Our certified arborists will help you make the best choice for your property and landscape. Our mulch is affordable and delivery is available.

Thanks for reading, 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Unmanaged Trees Pose a Big Risk

Your trees need to be well maintained, just like the rest of your landscaping.  When trees are left unattended, untreated problems can present a major liability and can cause massive damage and costs down the line.
Falling branches during storms can lay waste to roofs and carports with ease. Growing branches can damage power lines and roots can do unseen damage to foundations, landscaping, underground pipes and plumbing. Poorly managed trees can rapidly decay due to diseases, parasites and fungi and can be the source of household pest problems including termites and species of borers. Leaves can clog gutters, drains and pool filters.  Need I go on?  It is time to get those trees and scrubs some TLC.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. is the perfect partner to your tree care needs.
Trees "R" Us, Inc. offers its clients many years experience and highly qualified staff.  Tree services include tree trimming, tree removal, stump grinding, emergency services, mulch, tree maintenance and plant health care.  We service the North Shore area of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.
Contact us through the website, email or at 847-913-9069.

Thanks for reading,

A Crabapple Treatment Special for Those on Our Mailing List

Are you on our mailing list?  If you are, then you perhaps you've received our latest postcard.  If you haven't received it yet, don't fret.  It will be on its way shortly.  Make sure you take advantage of the great deal for keeping your flowering Crabtrees healthy and free of Crabapple Scab.  We are offering a crabapple treatment special that can't be beat!  Take advantage of it while the season is upon us.

If you'd like to get on our mailing list, fill out our online form or give us a call at 847-913-9069.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree care company servicing Chicago's North Shore and the surrounding suburbs.  Our tree services include tree trimming, tree removal, stump grinding, plant health care, tree maintenance and emergency tree services.

Trees "R" Us, Inc.  The Right Experience.  The Right Equipment.  The Right Choice.

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mulch is ready for delivery

Another beautiful day in Chicagoland.  Organic Solutions, Inc., sister company to Trees "R" Us, Inc. has a wide variety of mulch to fit every need and every budget.  Check out our website for more information on the different varieties available or to order.
Here are some pictures we took today of the different mulch we offer.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Trees "R" Us, Inc. Now has 5 Arborists

I'd like to welcome our newest certified arborist, Pat Flaherty.

Pat just joined the Trees “R” Us, Inc. team in March 2012.  Pat comes to Trees “R” Us, Inc. with  more than 20 years experience in the lawn care industry.  Pat specializes in fertilization and pest control as he has some very specialized certifications and licenses.  Pat has successfully completed the Illinois licensing program and exams in order to obtain licenses for both Operator and Applicator of sprays and pesticides.  For this reason Pat is the perfect addition to our Plant Health Care Division which specializes in plant disease prevention and treatment.  

Trees "R" Us, Inc. is so proud of all our staff.  We now offer our clients 5 certified arborists and a Plant Health Care Division operated by a certified arborist who also holds the state's highest license for sprays and pesticides.

Trees "R" Us, Inc.  The right experience.  The right equipment.  The right choice.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree care company.  We service the North Shore and all of Chicago's Northwest suburbs.  Our tree services include tree trimming, tree removal, stump grinding, overall tree and plant maintenance and plant health care.  Contact us at or 847-913-9069.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, March 12, 2012

Plant Health Care - Stop! You Need a License to Do That!

Plant Health Care is a relatively new buzz word among residential homeowners, however the tree care industry has been advocating plant health care for years.  What you may not know is in order to use most sprays and pesticides, you need to be licensed.  That should send up a red flag for you.  YOU should not be doing the spraying! It's dangerous if you don't do it properly.  There is a good reason why the state of Illinois requires a license to do this, so leave it to a professional that has all the proper certification to do the job correctly.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. proudly offers Plant Health Care and we can stand by our quality work because we have staff that is both Operator licensed and Applicator Licensed for spraying pesticides.

State law requires anyone in Illinois applying general-use and restricted-use pesticides in the course of employment to be licensed. Did you know that even persons applying restricted-use pesticides on property they own or control must have a private applicator license. Persons applying general-use pesticides on their own property are exempt from licensing requirements.

It is a responsibility of the Illinois Department of Agriculture to license people applying pesticides outdoors and in agricultural production. The University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service provides training and study materials.

The Illinois Department of Public Health certifies and licenses individuals applying pesticides in and on man-made structures for purposes including, but not limited to, bird control, rodent control, wood treatment and insect control. There is extensive training for these licenses and only those who pass the state exam will receive the license.  

We are proud to be one of the few tree service companies in the Chicagoland area that offer plant health care services by a certified arborist who is also licensed as and Operator and Applicator of spraying pesticides.

If you are in the North Shore area or in Chicago's north or northwest suburbs, Trees "R" Us, Inc. is your choice for quality tree care and maintenance, as well as your plant health care needs.  Trees "R" Us, Inc.  The right experience.  The right equipment.  The right choice.  Check us out at

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tree Care in Spring - What Should You Do?

Probably the most common question I get is how to keep shrubs and trees healthy during the spring and throughout the year?

For an answer to this question, it's important to know something about the needs of healthy plants. I'm going to get a little 'techy' here so bear with me.

The plant's capacity to make and store carbohydrates, getting enough soil moisture, and having soil that has adequate nutrients and is conducive to plant growth are all a part of the equation.

Capacity to make and store nutrients: This is important to all plants and it is not as simple as it may seem. Each perennial plant must be able to store adequate carbohydrates, not only to reproduce leaves for each year, but also to "hold in escrow" the energy needed to grow new leaves, if they are killed by frost or destroyed by wind or hail.

If graphed, the carbohydrate storage curve would be high in early spring, just before trees leaf out. After leaf-out, it would plunge (because the tree has used a lot of stored food energy to put on new leaves). Then, in midsummer or later, the curve would rise again, as the tree begins to build new food stores.

Trees and shrubs use stored nutrients in early spring. By the end of spring, after a tremendous growth spurt, trees have used up a lot of these nutrients. A healthy tree will begin, through the process of photosynthesis, making new supplies of nutrients (carbohydrates).

Though summer is hot, the healthy plant will continue to make and store nutrients sufficient to carry it through the winter. In fall, plants begin to lose their leaves and go dormant for winter, and the tree's food-making capacities slow down.

By knowing this cycle, it becomes apparent that the plant must be healthy enough to manufacture, store and use adequate nutrients throughout the year. If it isn't, you will end up with dead branches or even a dead tree. In some cases, a tree may have just enough food stored to begin leafing out, but not enough to continue growing. In that case, the tree will die. Proper plant care, year-round, should prevent this from happening.

Soil moisture: Too little or too much moisture will result in a tree dying back or dying off. As a rule of thumb, soil needs to be moist to between 12 to 18 inches of depth for most trees and shrubs. The only way to check moisture depth is to check by careful digging or by using a soil probe after watering the root area.

Don't assume you are watering a tree when you are watering your lawn!  Most of the water may go to the lawn, which has many roots competing with tree roots. Thatch in the lawn acts to repel water, and different soil types make water penetration very difficult in many cases. Soaker hoses and root waterers can be useful tools for applying water.

Be sure to apply water during extended winter dry periods. This is vital to good tree health.

Soil types: Soils can vary greatly within a short distance. Generally, Front Range soils tend to be clay-like and alkaline. However pockets of sandy soils can be found in some areas. You need to figure out what type of soil you have and take steps, gradually, to improve it. If yours is a clay soil, aeration will help provide oxygen needed for optimum plant health.

Soil nutrients: In general, trees do not need as much fertilizer as do lawns. However, in our generally high pH soils, nutrients, such as nitrogen, iron, zinc and manganese, can be added. Note the color of leaves and needles. If they look sickly or light colored, that is a clue that additional nutrients may be in order. If you are concerned about soil health, you might consider having your soil tested.
By understanding these and other plant needs, you will know how to provide healthy plant care, not only each spring, but throughout the year.

Plant health care is an becoming in demand more and more by tree service companies.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. is now offering Plant Health Care, or PHC.  Running the PHC division of Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a certified arborist with years experience is plant disease prevention and treatment.  You can trust your trees and plants to Trees "R" Us, Inc. The right equipment.  The right experience.  The right choice. Trees "R" Us, Inc.

Thanks for Reading,