Monday, April 30, 2012

Beetle Busters

Did you know that Illinois can claim one of the few victories in the war against invasive insects?

Since the discovery of Asian Longhorned Beetle in Chicago in 1998, collaboration between the Forest Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the state of Illinois and city of Chicago has accomplished an exciting achievement. The Chicago ALB Eradication Program is ready to declare the beetle eradicated from our city. All of the quarantine areas were deregulated in the spring of 2005, and during 2006 the Forest Service continued to work with the other cooperators to promote the successful completion of the two years of negative surveys required for a declaration of eradication.

The U.S. Forest Service assumed a partnership role with APHIS in their “Beetle Busters” campaign to reach out to the public and the media in publicizing this effort. Outreach tools such as the ALB Identification card were designed and distributed, featuring a punched hole the size of actual ALB exit holes. A USDA Forest Service grant to Rutgers University funded the production of an ALB video DVD and a CD which has educational tools for teachers and presentations that can be used to educate the public and the green industry about ALB. The Chicago ALB program case study (Chicago vs. the Asian Longhorned Beetle: A Portrait of Success), which was originally released nationally in 2004, was reprinted and is again available as part of the “Beetle Busters” campaign. Partners met regularly with APHIS to strategize and assist during the final stages of the program.

Volunteers from DePaul University used the ALB ID cards in surveys of selected areas of the city while other groups of volunteers used the cards in other area surveys. The “Beetle Busters” is now part of the standard Chicago public school curriculum, and includes products created by the Forest Service. Thousands of school children learn to survey their neighborhoods for signs of ALB. These products and the volunteer efforts generated positive media stories which further informed the public about the eradication efforts and enlist their support in the program.

As part of the “Beetlebusters” campaign, Chicago schoolchildren learn to recognize ALB damage and the insect itself. Above, a US Forest Service smokejumper who is doubling as an ALB tree climber in Chicago, is preparing to show a group of school children how trained tree climbers look for ALB in the upper reaches of trees.

The end of the 2007 ALB flight season marked two years of negative surveys in formerly quarantined areas, which makes the Chicago ALB Eradication Program eligible for a declaration of eradication. An eradication ceremony is planned in mid April of 2008 in the Ravenswood neighborhood that was most impacted by the beetle. The Forest Service is partnering with APHIS in planning this event, which will recognize the many local, state and federal partners that were instrumental in bringing this project to a successful conclusion.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Don't Move Firewoood!

This camping and hunting season, get your firewood from a vendor close to your destination. Don’t pack your own! Invasive insects and diseases in dead and dying wood threaten our native trees and forests. If you move firewood, you could be giving these pests a free ride to new territory.
Just one example of a pest moving in firewood is the emerald ash borer (EAB), a destructive, invasive insect from Asia. EAB is responsible for more than 20 million dead and dying ash trees and millions of dollars in damage in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Concerned forest conservationists met at the Morton Arboretum in Illinois, for the first Firewood Forum. It was designed to provide an opportunity to learn more about the forest health hazards of transporting firewood.
It is far better to purchase firewood than to transport or move firewood on your own. Trees "R" Us, Inc. not only provides tree maintenance, we also can provide you with firewood.  As the premier tree service for the north shore area of Chicago, you can trust your trees to Trees "R" Us ... and that your firewood is free of pests and disease.  You can feel confident that your won't infect your trees when you buy your firewood from Trees "R" Us, Inc.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tree Cankers - what they are and why they are bad

Cankers are localized dead areas, which may appear on the branches, twigs, or trunk of a tree. They can be caused by mechanical damage (especially weed whips and lawn mowers), environmental conditions (frost cracks, sunscald etc.), chemical injury, insects, or microorganisms (fungi and bacteria). Cankers may appear sunken on young and thin- barked trees or hidden on older thick-barked trees. On young or smooth-barked trees, the surface of the canker may appear discolored. Callus tissue formed around the canker may cause excessive enlargement of the stem, while some perennial cankers form a target-shaped lesion. The size of the canker can range from small inconspicuous lesions on branches to massive dead areas on the trunk.

Small, cushion-like reproductive structures can often be seen on the surface or along the margins of the fungal canker.  Spores released from these structures during wet weather infect trees through natural openings or wounds. Trees under stress are especially prone to infection and canker development.

Cankers caused by environmental conditions or physical injury are often invaded by saprophytic fungi, which grow on dead tissue. These fungi may form reproductive structures on dead wood, complicating the diagnosis.

Cankers on young trees and fruit trees can cause serious damage and may kill the tree. Cankers seldom kill established shade trees but can deform and weaken them, making them more susceptible to wind-throw and invasion by wood decaying fungi. However, few fungi are capable of invading healthy trees and killing them. One example is chestnut blight. The fungus responsible, Endothia parasitica, decimated American chestnut trees earlier this century.

However, few fungi are capable of invading healthy trees and killing them. Most healthy trees respond to injuries quickly and form a defense barrier that halts further expansion of the canker. Stressed trees may not be able to form this defense, so cankers spread rapidly. Some fungi, halted by defense mechanisms of the tree, are able to break through the host's defenses the next year and reinfect healthy tissue. The production of callus tissue followed by the reinfection of the healthy tissue results in the formation of perennial cankers.
Most canker-causing fungi attack stressed or injured trees. Therefore, the best treatment for cankers is PREVENTION. Keep trees healthy and prevent wounding. In winter, wrap thin- barked trees, such as maples and apples, to help prevent sunscald and frost cracks. In periods of low rainfall, water trees thoroughly. Do not plant trees too close together, since overcrowding causes stress in trees competing for water and nutrients. Proper fertilization and removal of dead wood is also beneficial.

In the case of infectious cankers, remove branches six to 12 inches below the canker margin. Dead or dying branches should also be removed. Prune during dry weather to minimize the spread of the disease.

A professional tree service like Trees "R" Us, Inc. can help you identify, prevent and treat cankers in your trees. Trees "R" Us, Inc. will also provide you with high quality tree trimming and tree maintenance.  Tress "R" Us, Inc. is the right choice for all your tree care needs.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. - The right equipment, the right experience, the right choice.  We service the north shore area of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.  

Contact us at or via the phone at 847-913-9069 or by email at

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Watch Out For Tree Rot!

Decay in trees is bad, very bad. Tree rot can be slow to develop and potentially very dangerous. Unfortunately, existing fungicide products are not effective at stopping or reversing decay. Decay in trees is often unsightly, but it can also result in a safety or property damage hazard. Decayed trees, sooner or later, start shedding limbs or can topple in strong winds. Trees or large limbs riddled with rot can (and often do) land on houses, cars and, tragically, sometimes people.

There are two ways to deal with the decay - directly and indirectly. In most cases, it's best to use both procedures.

Direct methods are procedures, activities and techniques that incorporate awareness of the existing level of decay and immediately discourage the advancement of the decay. They include corrective pruning, eliminating codominant leaders early in the tree's life and removal of crossing, broken or diseased branches.  This type of work should be left to a professional tree service, like Trees "R" Us, Inc. on Chicago's North Shore.

Placement of protective devices that reflect the harmful effects of winter sun will help to prevent further damage to the bark of sunscald-prone trees. The device should be white or beige in color, placed in such a way that it allows air to circulate around the trunk and can be easily removed in the spring. Thanksgiving to Easter is the best time to protect against further trunk damage from sunscald.

Indirect methods include proper siting of trees (right plant, right place); proper spacing; proper planting procedures to prevent damage to the bole from basal decay and root rot, as well as the promotion of a healthy root system; and mulching with coarse wood chips to prevent mower blight and reduce grass competition. 

Inexperienced mower operators can cause serious damage to the protective bark. This can occur acutely or chronically. Either way gives decay fungi the opportunity to invade the inner tree tissues. By starting the mulch application 3 inches away from the trunk and using a 2 to 3-inch depth, vigorous rooting is also likely to take place.

The selection of new trees for a landscape has a bearing on preventing future decay, as well. Certain trees, such as cottonwood and silver maple, tend to decay rapidly once infected. Other species, including walnut, Osage orange and ginkgo are more lignified and decay slowly. To make good choices, consult your local tree service, like Trees "R" Us, Inc. on the North Shore area of Chicago.

Above all, when it comes to decay prevention, do everything possible to protect the bark. A solid, uninterrupted bark layer is the first and best line of defense against the invasion of decay organisms.

Keep in mind that as trees mature, most of them acquire defects of one sort or another and that opportunistic decay organisms are ubiquitous. Due to differences in tree anatomy, physiology and reactions to stressors, decay may not be readily apparent. Tree decay can be present in significant volume without any external symptoms or telltale signs. On the other hand, cracks, rot pockets (portions of the trunk where large limbs have been removed), lightning strikes and fruiting structures are good indicators of internal decay. In other words, don't rely upon superficial walk-by inspections to reveal rot in every tree. Sometimes you have to look more carefully.

Remember, decay is a disease that often takes years to develop and become noticeable, unlike diseases that damage tree foliage. For this reason, older neighborhoods and landscapes are likely candidates for infected trees. If you live in  this type of  neighborhood, and especially if your yard has mature trees, contact your local tree service, like Trees "R" Us, Inc., to inspect your trees for signs of decay and other problems.

Thanks for reading, 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Unseasonably warm weather may cause harm for fruit trees

The combination of summer-like temperatures and impending overnight freezes has fruit growers concerned about what lies ahead.

Unseasonable 80-degree temperatures caused buds to swell, to the point where the blossoms are not far behind.
This is uncharted territory. Fruit trees that already are two to three weeks ahead of schedule, like peaches and apples.
It's a concern depending on the sequence of what happens hereafter.
There isn't immediate danger of buds freezing, but once warm weather returns, there's the problem of a prolonged frost season ahead.
Once you get into a stage for development, the temperature for damage comes up.
The biggest problem is with apple and especially peach trees that have "broken dormancy".
The question now is whether the wind will help us or hurt us. With wind chill, you get evaporative cooling. It does dry out things.
Regardless, this is a 'wait and see' scenario.  Mother Nature not only threw us for a loop with her 80 degree temperatures, but only our plants and trees.  It will be interesting to see what happens to all those plants and tree that broke dormancy.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, April 23, 2012

Newly Planted Tree Care

Now that Arbor Day 2012 has come and gone, it is time to take great care of that new tree you just planted.  It is easier to successfully establish smaller trees than larger trees. Regardless of size, newly planted trees experience a period of transplant shock during which they are highly vulnerable to stress. Through proper planting and regular early care directed at rapid root development, the period of transplant shock can be shortened and the probability of survival greatly increased.

Unfortunately, many of these trees, perhaps 50 percent or more, do not survive beyond one or two years. There are many factors that contribute to this, but there are many steps you can take to keep your newly planted tree as healthy as possible.  

Most newly planted trees are subject to stress-related problems due to tremendous root loss when dug at the nursery. This condition, commonly called transplant shock, results in increased vulnerability to drought, insects, diseases and other problems. To a greater or lesser degree, transplant shock lasts until the natural balance between the root system and the top or crown of the transplanted tree is restored. Of those newly planted trees that do not survive, most die during this root-establishment period. A tree’s chance of survival can be drastically improved through practices that favor establishment of the root system. This involves regular care during the first three years following transplanting.

One of the easiest things you can do is provide your tree with sufficient mulch.  Mulching a large area around newly planted trees with 3 to 4 inches of wood chips or bark conserves soil moisture and moderates soil temperatures. Mulch also inhibits the growth of grass. Grass roots can present serious competition to the fine absorbing root system of trees, since they all grow in the top four to six inches of soil.

If you are in need of mulch, Organic Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of Trees "R" Us, Inc. has a huge mulch sale going on right now.  All single processed (premium) mulch is on sale for $20/yard.  Double processed (super premium) is just $25/yard.  These are unbeatable prices!  The mulch varieties are outlined on our website:  Organic Solutions offers delivery at reasonable prices and services Chicago's North Shore area and all the surrounding suburbs.  Get your newly planted trees started out right and don't miss out on this unbelievable sale!  Give us a call at {847} 366-8869 to place your order today!  The sale only lasts as long as the mulch!

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Arbor Day! Here's how to plant the right tree in the right place

Happy Arbor Day! I hope you get the chance to plant a tree or two today.

Careful planning is the key to a healthy trees. With a little research and a simple layout, you can produce a landscape that will not only look beautiful, but also serve you well by cooling your home in summer and taming the winter winds. Your well-planned yard should contain trees that grow well in the soil and moisture of your neighborhood. Also, your trees should be properly placed to avoid collisions with power lines and buildings. Follow all theses simple rules and, as a result, the aesthetics will increase your property value.

A proper landscape plan takes the following into consideration for each tree:
Height. Will the tree bump into anything when it is fully grown?
Canopy spread. How wide will the tree grow?
Is the tree deciduous or coniferous? (Will it lose its leaves in the winter?)
Form or shape. A columnar tree will grow in less space. Round and V-Shaped species provide the most shade.
Growth rate. How long will it take for your tree to reach its full height? Slow growing species typically live longer than fast growing species.
Soil, sun, and moisture requirements.
Fruit. No one wants messy droppings on busy sidewalks.
Hardiness zone indicates the temperature extremes in which a tree can be expected to grow.

Some other tips and facts to consider:

• If your area to plant is only 4-6 wide, make sure you choose a tree that will be on the smaller side when mature, like a flowering crab tree. 

• If the area is less than 4 feet wide, skip planting a tree there. 4 feet is insufficient space for planting a tree.

• To shade a sidewalk choose a tree that won't drop messy fruits, like a Redbud.

• But also be careful to plant deep rooted trees near sidewalks, like the Red Oak, in order to avoid conflict bewtween the root system and the sidewalk later on.

• If your planting area is really dry or even the opposite, rather swampy, the perfect tree to plant is the Baldcypress. It does well in both scenarios. 

• The Baldcypress also can withstand an area that is treated with salt in the winter months. Bonus for those of us in Chicago!

• If you need a smaller tree that can handle a lot of shade then the Japanese Red Maple is a good choice. It is perfect for planting among taller trees that shade the area.

• If it's brilliant fall colors you want then the Scarlet Oak or Sourwood are the trees for you.

• Trees planted on the southeast, southwest or west side of the house provide the best cooling shade in the summer months.

• To attract wildlife to your yard go with a Live Oak.

• And, if you want rapid growth, it's a Hybrid Poplar you want.

Whatever you decide to plant, it is important to then protect your investment by planning to provide your trees with proper tree maintenance and tree health care.  Call your local professional tree service, like Trees "R" Us, Inc. to find out about tree maintenance plans to help extend the life and health of your trees.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. provides tree service, tree maintenance and tree and plant health care to the North Shore are of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.  We are proud to have 4 arborists on staff as well as highly trained crews that provide our customers with the upmost professional tree care the industry offers.  We are be reached via the web at, by email at or by phone at 847-913-9069.

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

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Treatment and Prevention of Fireblight

Recently I posted about common tree diseases for the spring season. Among them is a disease called fire blight. Today I tell you how to prevent and treat this deadly tree disease.

Fireblight is easy to diagnose as the symptoms are very obvious. Pear and apple trees are most susceptible.
•Wilted or black blooms, leaves, and branches of your pear and apple trees and
•Slightly sunken areas on the branches and main stem
are the main indicators of Fire Blight.

Fireblight symptoms appear in the spring when temperatures begin to warm and is not easy to control. Flowers are usually affected first and will start to wilt and turn black. As the disease moves to leaves and stems, the leaves will wilt and turn black. Branches will have cankers, and in wet weather you may notice a sticky, milky-type liquid may oozin from infected plant parts.

While pear and apple are the the most commonly infected plants, other members of the Rosaceae family such as hawthorn, photinia, and spirea can also be affected by fireblight. Insects and wind spread the pathogen.

NONE! There is no cure for fireblight, thus PREVENTION is essential.

To help reduce disease severity use resistant plant varieties, cultural and sanitation methods, and apply insecticides and bactericides.

Select cultivars of pears and apples that are fireblight resistant.
Resistant pear varieties include:

Bradford is considered the most resistant of those listed, but will develop the disease if conditions are right.
Resistant apple varieties include:
•Red Delicious
•Ozark Gold

Since insects spread the disease, controlling insects could help prevent the spread of fireblight. However, these insecticides should not be used during bloom. Contact your local tree service office for insecticide recommendations.

Streptomycin is the bactericide recommended for fireblight control in susceptible apple and pear trees. Use streptomycin as a preventative treatment only, and spray soon after bloom when insects or mechanical practices injure tender shoots, making them more susceptible to contracting fireblight. In pears, repeat the streptomycin application at at four-to-seven day intervals as long as blooms are present. Streptomycin must be sprayed a minimum of 50 days before fruit harvest. Always apply insecticides according to label directions. These control methods are most effective for younger trees, when adequate foliage coverage can be achieved.

Cultural and sanitation methods are also important for fireblight prevention. During spring and summer, prune out infected branches 8 inches below the damage. Avoid pruning when the plants are wet. Dip pruning tools in 70 percent isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) or 10 percent bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water solution) between each cut. Wash and oil shears when you are finished. These practices avoid spreading the pathogen.

Avoid heavy nitrogen fertilization, especially in summer, when succulent growth is most susceptible to fireblight infection. Avoid splashing water.

Talk to an Arborist
If you prefer, you can always let your local tree service handle the prevention of Fireblight. A local tree service, like Trees "R" Us, Inc. on the North Shore of Chicago, should have qualified staff that is not only able to diagnose Anthacnose, but also be licensed to treat it with professional grade fungicides. Here at Trees "R" Us, Inc. we have several certified arborists that are available to service your trees with the utmost care and professionalism. You can trust your trees to Trees "R" Us, Inc.

Thank for reading,

Prevention and Treatment of Spring Diseases in Trees

Yesterday I posted about common and deadly diseases that usually occur in your trees during the spring.

Two diseases that I focused on are Antracnose and Fireblight. Today I will tell how to prevent and treat Antracnose. Check in tomorrow for more information on Fireblight.

Anthacnose is similar in appearance to another plant fungus---blackspot---anthracnose is a disease that can harm or even kill a plant if left untreated. It can be found on many plants, grasses and even trees, although it is most noticeable and prevalent on tender-leafed rose bushes and climbing roses. Swift action is necessary when the weather turns humid and both organic and chemical-based methods should be explored to prevent an infestation of anthracnose

It is important to treat anthracnose as effectively as possible. Here are few treatments to get you started.

Organic Treatments
During the dormant season, you may be able to mix an application of lime sulfur and use that on the soil surrounding the plant. Lime sulfur is effective in preventing other fungus problems as well. Copper products such as Bordeaux are recommended and may be successful in preventing an anthracnose invasion. Neem oil may help prevent both anthracnose as well as other diseases and insects; purchase a strong Neem oil solution, at least 70 percent, and spray plants regularly for one to two weeks.

To Treat with Fungicides
Many systemic and spray fungicides are effective in prevention and treatment of anthracnose. Ask your local nursery about using "Chlorothalonil" under the brand name Daconil, "Maneb" under the brand name Pentathlon, or "Myclobutanil" under the brand name Immunox. According to Grounds Maintenance online, a fungicidal product called Chipco Signature plus Daconil provided the most potent prevention in their tests. Most systemic (through the roots) treatments last longer than sprays and can't be washed off by rain, making them especially effective for anthracnose prevention.

To keep anthracnose at bay after an infestation, you must treat susceptible plants with diligence. This may require adapting your previous gardening practices. Pick up all dead leaves after they fall or are trimmed. Even one diseased leaf can winter-over in the soil or mulch and reinfect the plant in another season. Keep plants dry: anthracnose develops in moisture. An especially humid summer can wreak havoc on an anthracnose-prone plant. Prune the plant so it receives sun throughout and scrub your tools with rubbing alcohol.

Talk to an Arborist
If you prefer, you can always let your local tree service handle the treatment and prevention of Anthracnose. A local tree service, like Trees "R" Us, Inc. on the North Shore of Chicago, should have qualified staff that is not only able to diagnose Anthacnose, but also be licensed to treat it with professional grade fungicides. Here at Trees "R" Us, Inc. we have several certified arborists that are available to service your trees with the utmost care and professionalism. You can trust your trees to Trees "R" Us, Inc.

Thanks for Reading,


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Diseases for Trees - What to Watch Out For

It's mid April, and in Chicagoland spring weather is fast approaching.  'Tis the season for budding trees, blooming flowers, and unfortunately, serious tree disease outbreaks.  Spring diseases that affect your trees could potentially kill your trees so it is important to contact a professional tree service, like Trees "R" Us, Inc. that has certified arborists on staff to correctly diagnose the issues going on with your trees.  

During the spring season there are two key diseases that will affect the health of your trees. One of these diseases is Anthracnose and the other is Fireblight.

A brief description of Anthracnose is a fungal foliar disease to which sycamore, oak (especially white), and maple are highly susceptible. This fungus will cause defoliation. The onset of symptoms usually occurs from May to mid-June.

The other disease is Fireblight which is a bacterial disease that causes wilting and blackening of blossoms and leaves on trees. This disease occurs early in the season and can produce symptoms that persist throughout the summer. The first sign of firelight occurs May through early June depending on your geographic location.

Check back tomorrow for more detailed information on Anthracnose and Fireblight.  I'll discuss prevention and treatment.

The best way to know if your trees may be infected by one of these diseases is to contact your local Trees "R" Us, Inc. arborist.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. is the professional tree company that you can trust.  We service the North Shore area of Chicagoland and the surrounding northwest suburbs.  For your tree care needs contact us at, or by phone at 847-913-9069, or by email at

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gypsy Moths Can Kill Your Oaks, Hickories and Willows

We've had lots of call this season already from residents who think gypsy moths are killing their trees.

The gypsy moth is a leaf-eating insect that feasts on trees and shrubs. In large populations, it’s capable of stripping plants bare, leaving them vulnerable to secondary insect and disease attacks.
This pest was brought to the United States from Europe in 1869 to breed a hardier silk worm; unfortunately, some caterpillars escaped and, without natural enemies here, quickly took-up residence in forests along the East Coast. 
female gypsy moth
Because of the weight of their eggs, female moths cannot fly. So, they typically lay their eggs on objects near the trees where they’re feeding, including picnic tables, campers, and grills. When these items are moved, the moth eggs “hitchhike” along like a wandering gypsy. For this reason, it’s extremely important to check all vehicles and equipment after camping, hiking, or visiting family and friends in infested areas. 
gypsy moth egg mass
If it’s white and flies, it’s NOT a gypsy moth! Male gypsy moths are brown with black markings and have a wingspan of about an inch-and-a-half. The females have wingspans of up to two inches and are white or cream-colored. But, remember, they’re too heavy to fly.
Gypsy moths aren’t finicky eaters. They’ll devour almost anything leafy and green, but especially like oak, hickory, and willow trees. They’ll also reluctantly eat ash trees and evergreens. Their least favorite meal is the male gypsy mothtulip poplar, which they avoid entirely.
The gypsy moth is migrating west, and is beginning to established itself in Illinois. The state has had isolated infestations, all of which have been eradicated. These infestations primarily have occurred in the northeast, although gypsy moths also have been found as far south as Morton and Peoria. Lake County, Illinois was quarantined in 2000. The counties of Mc Henry Cook and Du Page were added in 2007.
A quarantine requires all nursery stock and firewood being shipped out of the affected counties to be inspected and certified, a difficult and time-consuming procedure. All nurseries and nursery dealers are also required to treat their property and/or stock, and persons leaving quarantined counties have to have all of their outdoor equipment inspected.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Environmental Programs particpates in the Slow the Spread program, a joint local, state and federal effort to reduce and control the spread of the gypsy moth.

More Gypsy Moth Facts

Although the caterpillars prefer oak leaves, they will eat from more than 500 kinds of shrubs and trees.
gypsy moth caterpillar
Gypsy moth caterpillars grow from 1/16 inch long at hatching to about 2 inches long, multiplying their weight almost 1,000 times. One 2-inch caterpillar can eat leaves covering more than one square yard.
One gypsy moth eggmass may produce up to 1,000 caterpillars and for every egg mass we can see, there may be dozens or hundreds, hidden.

If you suspect a Gypsy Moth infestation, please call Trees "R" Us, Inc. immediately.  We can help you treat your sickly trees and will properly assess the damage to your trees.  As a homeowner, it is important to protect the investment you have in your trees.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. is the right choice for your tree care needs.  
We service the North Shore area of Chicago and the surrounding Northwest suburbs.  Contact us via the web at; phone at 847-913-9069; or email at

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

forest photo contest

The U.S. Forest Service today announced its My Neighborhood Forest photo contest, celebrating America’s urban and community forests.

The Grand Prize winner will receive $200 in outdoor gear courtesy of the National Forest Foundation.

The contest, which runs from April 11 – July 22, seeks to highlight the natural beauty that spring and summer bring to U.S. neighborhoods, communities and cities, as well as the crucial role of trees in the places we call home.

Those interested in competing should visit for more details on the prizes and contest rules.

Urban forests broadly include urban parks, street trees, landscaped boulevards, public gardens, river and coastal promenades, greenways, river corridors, wetlands, nature preserves, natural areas, shelter belts of trees and working trees at industrial brownfield sites.

With 80 percent of the nation's population in urban areas, there are strong environmental, social, and economic cases to be made for the conservation of green spaces to guide growth and revitalize city centers and older suburbs.

Urban forests, through planned connections of green spaces, form the green infrastructure system on which communities depend. This natural life support system sustains clean air and water, biodiversity, habitat, nesting and travel corridors for wildlife, and connects people to nature.

The Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry office is actively engaged in more than 7,000 communities across the United States, providing technical, financial, research and educational services to local government, non-profit organizations, community groups, educational institutions and tribal governments.

We're all snapping pictures around this time of year anyway, why not try to win something for it!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Beware - Warm Weather Will Cause Oak Wilt To Arrive Early This Year

Forest health experts say unseasonably warm weather is raising concerns that oak wilt, a serious and almost always fatal fungal disease of red oaks, will likely appear sooner than normal. Therefore, I encourage you to stop pruning oaks from now through the end of July.

Typically, the high risk period for oak wilt transmission is April through July. However, due to unusually warm spring that we have had this year, the risk of oak wilt is likely to already exist.

You should take special care to avoid wounding oaks from now through July. In fact, any action that might provide an opening into the tree, such as carving initials into the tree or attaching a birdfeeder or clothes line, could provide an opportunity for the oak wilt fungus to invade and establish itself in the tree. If an oak tree needs to be pruned from now through July, you should consider using wound dressing or paint on the cut surface as soon as the wound is created.

The way oak wilt works is really small sap beetles transport fungal spores by landing on fungal mats found beneath the cracked bark of trees that died the previous year. The spores are then transmitted from a beetle’s body onto the fresh wound of a healthy oak tree while the beetle is feeding at the pruned or damaged site.

The risk of spreading oak wilt is low after July, however, I always advise to be cautious and avoid pruning or wounding oaks until November just to be safe.

The common beetles that transmit oak wilt disease are not capable of boring into a tree.

Oak wilt also can spread from a diseased tree to a healthy tree through a connected root system.

This ability to spread through root grafts means that even if only a single oak is wounded and subsequently infected with oak wilt, a new oak wilt “pocket” may develop in a location where oak wilt did not previously exist and will radiate to other oaks through the connected root systems. If no management steps are taken, the pocket could continue to expand year after year. Once oak wilt establishes itself in an area, control of the disease is both difficult and costly. The prevention of oak wilt is the best approach.  To prevent oak wilt you need to contact your local tree service.  If you are in the Chicagoland area Trees "R" Us, Inc. will help you prevent your oak trees from becoming contaminated with oak wilt and help you treat your infected trees.

Builders and developers should also be very careful as many oak wilt infections and deaths have occurred through inadvertent damage to roots, trunks, or branches during the construction process.

Oak wilt can be found in all counties of Illinois and 18 other states. The estimated range of oak wilt runs from southern Michigan through central Pennsylvania along the Appalachian Mountains south to Georgia, westward to the Great Plains and including much of Texas, then northward into Minnesota.

Every year, the disease kills many oaks in Illinois by interfering with the tree’s water and nutrient-conducting systems, essentially starving the tree. Leaves begin to wilt, and the tree may eventually die. Trees in the red oak group, such as northern red and northern pin oak, are especially vulnerable, and once wilting symptoms become visible, the tree loses most of its leaves and dies very quickly, often within weeks. Trees in the white oak group – those with rounded or lobed leaves – are more resistant to oak wilt, and the disease progresses much more slowly, often one branch at a time. White oaks could live with oak wilt for many years, and some trees may recover from the disease.

On another note, pruning deciduous trees in general should be avoided in the spring, as this is the time when tree buds and leaves are growing and food reserves are low. The best time to prune any deciduous tree is winter, followed by mid-summer -- after leaves have completed their growth.

For advice on trimming your trees, contact Trees "R" Us, Inc.  Our certified arborists are experts on tree trimming and will answer all your questions.  Our staff is highly trained in all areas of tree care and will trim your trees and/or treat them for diseases safely, properly and with great care.  Protect your landscape investment.  Contact Trees "R" Us, Inc. via the web at, by phone at 847-913-9069 or by email at

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tree Care and Flooding

Here in Chicagoland, the rain has been relentless.  Too much rain!  We went from weeks with not even a drop to flooding.  So how does this affect your trees?

Provided the flood is just from a few quick passing storms that are really just rain storms, not the kind of storm that brings damaging winds, trees probably enjoy a flood.  City trees that are surrounded by medians and sidewalks especially love this weather because those hard surfaces are generally so dry.

But most floods often caused by torrential rainstorms over water-saturated soils or, in urban areas, by inadequate or blocked drainage channels-are just way too much of a good thing. And although they're more common in the relatively flat and wet Southeast, floods are a weather fact-of-life across the country.

One way that floods damage trees is by softening or removing soil that supports the tree's roots.  Trees standing in wet soil are like you standing on a bog, trying to keep your balance with the ground moving under you.  Trees can lose their ability to hang on.

Although "swamp trees," such as red maple and sycamore, are accustomed to wet, poorly aerated soils and may be less damaged than other species, prolonged submergence can damage any tree. Tree survival in flood-prone areas can be improved by careful species selection and, if possible, by providing ways for water to drain off quickly rather than evaporate slowly.  As for trees that manage to hang on, only to succumb later, two theories exist on how damage occurs: one, that organic toxins accumulate in the soil, and two, that aeration is reduced by the standing water. Whatever the cause, the typical early-warning sign of flood damage in standing trees is chlorosis- pale-colored leaves that have lost chlorophyll. Chlorosis generally is followed by leaf browning and ultimately, leaf loss.

Although we do our best to protect our trees, there are times when Mother Nature has other plans.  If Mother Nature has damaged your trees in any way, it's time to call a professional tree service or certified  arborist.  Trees "R" Us, inc. has all the necessary equipment and experience to get the job done safely and professionally.  If you're on Chicago's North Shore or in one of the many surrounding suburbs we service, Trees "R" Us, Inc. is the right choice for your tree care needs.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Lightning Damage to Trees

As I hear the rain pelting the house and watch the lighting cut through the night sky, it is the perfect day to talk about lighting damage to trees.

Hurricanes and tornadoes are usually accompanied by thunderstorms and lightning, weather conditions that can cause their own damage to trees.

Because of their height, trees are a favorite target of lightning. Lightning-strike damage varies- there may be no damage, if the electricity is conducted along the outside of the tree, there may be scarring where bark is tom off the tree, or there may be trunk shatter, in which the lightning charge penetrates into the tree's stem, turning moisture into steam and causing the tree to explode.

Oaks, elms, poplars, and pines are most commonly struck, but are also the trees most commonly found in isolated positions. Beech trees seem less susceptible than would be expected; when wet, the smooth bark may conduct electricity outside the tree. High-value trees can be protected by installing a multi-pointed lightning rod (one that extends from several major branches) connected solidly to the ground with a heavy copper or aluminum cable. Otherwise, fives can simply be pruned for safety, and given regular care to promote health.

If your tree gets damaged from lighting, it is best to contact a tree service who specializes in tree removal and possible dangerous tree removal. 

If you live in the Chicagoland area, Trees "R" Us, Inc. is the right company to complete this type of work safely and accurately.  We specialize in emergency tree removal as well as dangerous tree removal.  Our team of professional tree service workers are highly trained in safety so you can rest assured that your damaged tree will be removed with no risk to you, your family, and your home.  We can be reached through, or via email at, or via the phone at 847-913-9069.

Thanks for reading, 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Send a Card, Plant a Tree

I'm sure many of you have sent an ecard at some point in the last few years.  And, if you haven't sent one, I'm sure you've heard of ecards or even received one yourself.  But, have you heard of an ecard that in return plants a tree?  Genius!

Over the last several years many individuals have helped to save trees by avoiding physical greeting cards. Sending greeting cards electronically during holidays has been an increasing trend over the last decade as it is a way to send a loved one a personalized greeting and it helps to save the environment. Some of the most popular holidays when it comes to sending eCards online are Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and, of course, Christmas. Christmas eCards online have exploded in popularity as families love to send messages via the Internet. Rather than using gas and spending extra time to head to the nearest store, Internet users have the opportunity to reduce their fuel consumption and save money at the same time.
Recently, a website has been created that will allow individuals to send an eCard that Plants a tree. This is a wonderful idea that will help to illustrate the importance of trees. This would be a great opportunity to teach young ones exactly what trees do and how they affect our everyday lives. Unfortunately, with the fast paced world we live in, many children do not fully understand how important trees and plants truly are. By sending an eCard that plants a tree Americans will be able to show many how special trees are to our Earth.
The recipient of this eCard can download a personalized tree certificate and view an online tour of tree planting projects. It is important to note that an eCard that plants a tree starts at $6.50 but this is small fee that is well worth it. There are free eCards available but they do not plant a tree. Even though they do not plant a tree they can still provide inspirational messages about Mother Earth.

With Earth Day right around the corner, why not send an ecard or two?  It's a brilliant concept so please spread the word!

Thanks for Reading,

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

arbor day is almost here - get your tree(S) in Wauconda!

The Wauconda Area Chamber of Commerce will have their 7th Annual Arbor Day Tree and Shrub Sale on Saturday, April 28 2012 from 9am to 2pm.  All sales will come with complimentary compost!  But, you must bring your own containers, so don't forget them or you'll lose out on this great deal on a great day...Arbor Day!

Wauconda residents will also be able to take advantage of free curbside delivery.

Get your trees and shrubs at 610 W. Liberty Street in Wauconda.

If you have questions, you can call the chamber at 847-526-5580 or go to their website at for additional details.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. can help you plant your Earth Day trees.  Contact us for planting advise at 847-913-9069 or  Or you can even email me, the owner and certified arborist directly at

Thank for reading,

Pine Trees with Sudden Needle Drop

SNEED is Sudden Needle Drop which is common among Pine trees.  In late May 2011, the University of Illinois Plant Clinic identified samples of spruce that had been affected with Sudden Needle Drop (SNEED). This was the first time it had been found in Illinois.

SNEED can be identified by yellowing and browning of old needles on Norway, white, and Colorado blue spruce trees. By the end of summer, these needles fall off leaving only the newest needles on the tips of branches. This can affect parts of the tree and in the most severe cases, the entire tree.

If you suspect that your spruce tree has Sudden Needle Drop, please contact Trees "R" Us, Inc.  and we will assign one of our Certified Arborists to your trees.   The arborist will set up an appointment with you and evaluate your trees and provide a treatment plan for the Pines.  Please act quickly if you think your Pines might have SNEED.  This disease does spread quickly and can potentially kill your trees.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Want to Help Make a World Record

Trees "R" Us, Inc., as an environmentally conscious business, encourages you to 'go green' in as many ways as possible.  We think that Picnic for the Planet is a really interesting opportunity that we all can take part in to take a stand in protecting nature. wants Picnic for the Planet to be the world's largest picnic celebration.  The Nature Conservancy is attempting to set the record for most people picnicking in 24 hours. Your picnic can be part of the Guinness World Records® attempt! To participate, download the informational packet.
The basic requirements for each picnic attempting the record:
  • Each picnic must have at least 25 people
  • Each picnic must take place within our 24-hour period: 8 pm EDT on Saturday, 4/21/12 to 8 pm EDT on Sunday, 4/22
  • Picnics must be outdoors
  • Each picnic must have three people to witness the event, count participants and fill out a couple simple forms
  • will need at least one photo
Ready to dive in? Participating in the record attempt is easy!
1) Plan a picnic! Make sure you will be able to meet the requirements above.
2) Download the informational packet to participate.
3) Gather your documentation and photos, and mail or e-mail them to by 5/4/12.
4) You're done! Be sure you've provided your e-mail or stay tuned to to find out if they've set the record.

Hope you can take part in this history-making day!

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, April 8, 2012

How to Fertilize Trees and Shrubs

All living things need nourishment, and trees and shrubs have a big appetite.
It’s true that large, well-established and healthy trees may not need much supplemental feeding, but fertilizing smaller trees and shrubs will pay you big dividends in return for your feeding investment during their first several years on your property. Your payback will include better resistance to disease and insects, improved flowering, and much quicker establishment than similar plants denied regular fertilization.
At Trees "R" Us, Inc., our tree and shrub care experts help you master the art of fertilization. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you're fertilizing the trees and shrubs in your own lawn:
Tip #1: Give your plants a balanced diet.
The primary nutrients nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) are all used by your trees in different ways.
  • Nitrogen encourages fast trunk and branch growth, and the production of healthy and dark green leaves.
  • Phosphorus stimulates vigorous root growth (which makes it especially beneficial to recently planted trees and shrubs). Phosphorus also promotes flower bud formation and increases resistance to cold.
  • Potassium makes the trees stronger, helping them to withstand wind and ice breakage as well as diseases.
  • Iron is often added to fertilizers for trees to unlock the other nutrients or make them more available to the plant. Micronutrients like iron are needed in some soils and for some types of plants that are prone to specific deficiencies.

Tip #2: Make sure the feeder roots of your trees have access to the fertilizer.
Fertilizing trees should put the nutrients within reach of the feeder roots. This means feeding an area that reaches from about 1/3 of the distance from the tree trunk to the drip line (on the inside) to a spot about the same distance outside the drip line. Fertilizer needs to be placed into holes that are about 6 to 12'' deep throughout this area. For good distribution, you may need up to 10 feeding holes per inch of trunk diameter up 6 to 12'' deep throughout the target area (a tree 5'' across may need 50 or so holes in the feeding zone). That's a lot of holes, but it assures that the fertilizer will be evenly available to the tree.
Tip #3: Apply fertilizer to trees early enough that it can withstand cold weather conditions.
Trees can be fertilized anytime between when the sap goes down in fall or winter until about mid-July (at the latest). Fertilizing trees between July and fall stimulates late growth that gets no chance to harden off and is more susceptible to damage from winter cold and winds. Early spring is probably the ideal feeding time, but with slow release materials, any time during the window will give excellent results.
Newly planted trees and shrubs benefit the most from regular fertilizing during their first 5 years in the landscape. In establishment, growth, and flowering, there is just no comparison between plants that are fed and those left to go it alone.
Things to remember when fertilizing trees and shrubs:
  • Feeding of recent transplants during the first 5 years helps plants mature quickly.
  • Balanced fertility is important. Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium each perform distinct functions in your landscape plants.
  • Don't fertilize trees between July 15th and Fall after trees start dormancy or resting periods.
If you would like to see your landscape investment start paying better dividends to you through regular shrub and tree maintenance, contact Trees "R" Us, Inc. We know trees and have solutions that work.  In addition, we can offer to you the expertise of our subsidiary, Organic Solutions, Inc. which specializes in organic premium mulch.
Thanks for reading, 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

When to Spray Your Ash Trees for EAB

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is one nasty bug that has killed millions of ash trees across the United States.  It came here from Asia and the Ash trees have no natural defense to ward off these bugs.  If you live in an infested area, you need to protect your trees BEFORE they become infested.  

The spring is the best time to contact an arborist to correctly identify your trees and apply the EAB treatment if necessary.  Insecticides applied in the spring will probably work best on trees with little or no borer damage. We do not yet know if trees already damaged by borers will benefit from insecticide treatments, or at what point trees are too damaged to recover. It is unlikely that systemic insecticides applied as trunk injections, soil drenches, or soil injections will move very well in trees with extensive tunneling injury. Trees with more than 20% canopy die-back usually have extensive damage that will be difficult to overcome, even if the trees are protected from further attack by trunk and foliage sprays. 

Trees "R" Us, Inc. recommends any of the following to try to ward off the EAB: (1) trunk injections in the spring, (2) soil injections in spring, and (3) trunk and foliage sprays in spring and early summer.

If you hire an arborist they should be considering one of the treatments listed above. Arborists and landscapers usually do a much better job of treating trees (especially large trees) with insecticide than homeowners do, and homeowners cannot make trunk injections of the most effective products, imidacloprid and bidrin, on their own. However, if a homeowner prefers to make insecticide treatments themselves, they can purchase other pesticides at local garden centers, however they won't be as effective as what the pros use.  By law, homeowners can not handle the more effective chemicals.  A special license is needed in order to apply these. 

Trees "R" Us, Inc. has personnel that is licensed and highly qualified to treat EAB and apply the most effective insecticide treatments on the market.  These treatments will only effect the infected tree while keeping your other plants, animals and family safe.

For something as serious as EAB is for your trees, leave it to a professional tree service, like Trees "R" Us, Inc. to get the job done safely and correctly.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. services the north shore area of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.

Thanks for Reading,