Thursday, August 30, 2012

More on fall fertilization - the what, why, and how

Here's some additional information on fall fertilization as a follow up from my post 2 days ago.

Quickly fall is approaching which means that it's time to fertilize.

Many of us associate spring with the time to fertilize.  While that is true, a fall fertilization is equally as important.

Why in the fall? Taking the time to fertilize in the fall will strengthen your plants' roots, giving them a strong base on which to thrive next spring.

Plant health care in the fall is essential. By now, perennials are starting to fade but they will benefit from 0-20-0 super phosphate fertilizer scattered around the plants at recommended doses and lightly cultivated into the soil. Next spring you'll have stronger plants with more flowers. (If you don't understand 'fertilizer language'; things like '0-20-0', please see yesterday's post on understanding fertilizers.)

Fall is also a great time to fertilize shrubs and trees. In my opinion, all trees and shrubs need fertilizer, because most of them are located in mulch beds that use up nitrogen as they decompose. In addition, every fall we rake leaves off these beds, depriving plants of the nutrients that decomposing leaves would traditionally release. To compensate, I recommend applying one to three pounds of slow-release nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of bed and cultivating lightly. (To figure out the exact amount of fertilizer you'll need, calculate the square footage of your beds and consult with your local garden center or tree service, like Trees "R" Us, Inc.) It is preferable to fertilize trees in late September and early October to promote root growth. These nutrients will still be in the soil come spring when plants start to grow. If you have a tree or shrub that does not flower well, a dose of super phosphate will help promote flower growth. However, if the plant is not located in the right spot, all the super phosphate in the world won't make it flower.

Fall is also the time to plant bulbs. Use super phosphate to promote root growth, insuring strong flowering in the spring. Some people recommend using bone meal when planting bulbs, but sometimes it attracts rodents who eat both the bone meal and the bulbs.

As you can tell, the basic goal of fall fertilizing is to promote root growth. When you have strong roots, you have healthy plants with numerous flowers. So push those roots!

At Trees "R" Us, Inc. we take pride in not only our professional tree care services, but also educating our customers. It is through education that we really save trees and help the environment. We hope you found this post informative and educational.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service for the Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest suburbs. Tree trimming, tree removal, stump grinding, fertilizations, tree disease treatments and prevention as well as plant health care are just a few of our high quality, professional services. Contact us today for a free analysis or quote at www.treesrusinc.com or at 847-913-9069.

Thanks for reading,
Nick
nick@treesrusinc.com


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Understanding fertilizer

If you are not familiar with fertilizing, trying to understand the technical language on packaging and instructions is enough to make you throw in the towel before you even begin.  Don't let your frustations get the best of you.  Here's the short version of understanding how fertilizers work.

 The first thing to understand about fertilizer is the formula, which is represented by three numbers, such as the common 5-10-5. The first number represents nitrogen, which promotes lawn blade and foliage growth; the second number stands for phosphorus, which helps root growth; and the third for potassium, which promotes cell function and absorption of trace elements. But what do you fertilize? When? And with what? Let's start with your lawn.

For example

Early in September, grass is recovering from a long hot summer and may be coming out of a drought-induced dormancy, so you'll want to give your lawn a shot of nitrogen to push blade growth. A fertilizer with a formula of 20-8-8 will get it growing again. Always follow the manufacturer's recommended rate of application. Some people treat weeds and insects at this time, but I think that unless there are signs of trouble or a history of problems, don't apply anything but fertilizer. While this September dose of fertilizer is important, an application at the end of October or early November is essential. At that time, apply a fertilizer with a formula of 13-25-12. The push of phosphorus will stimulate root growth through November and even into early December. By helping roots grow before winter sets in, you are insuring that the lawn will green-up quicker in the spring and become more resistant to disease and draught.

To find out more about fertilizing plants, trees and shrubs, check tomorrow's post on what, when and how to fertilize your plants, trees and shrubs in the fall.

At Trees "R" Us, Inc. we take pride in not only our professional tree care services, but also educating our customers. It is through education that we really save trees and help the environment. We hope you found this post informative and educational.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service for the Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest suburbs. Tree trimming, tree removal, stump grinding, fertilizations, tree disease treatments and prevention as well as plant health care are just a few of our high quality, professional services. Contact us today for a free analysis or quote at www.treesrusinc.com or at 847-913-9069.

Thanks for reading,
Nick
nick@treesrusinc.com

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fall Tree Care - 10 things you should do


Fall is sneaking up on us and before we know it, snow will be falling from the sky.  Don't let fall come and go without paying special attention to your trees and shrubs.  Most people think that since the trees are losing their leaves or are bare already, they need to wait until spring to do tree maintenance.  This is not the case!  Here's a list of 0f 10 things you should do for your trees before the snow starts flying!
~Water Your Tree
If your tree is showing brown or any signs of drought, give the tree a drink of water. Most trees have a deep enough root system that they don't require watering. However, many patio trees or trees suitable for planting in your yard because they grow small root balls, may require water. If signs of drought have been a continuing problem, you might want to add mulch at the base of the tree to help retain water in the soil. Don't dig around the roots of a tree because you may destroy them. Without adequate root growth or planted in a place where the roots can't extend deep enough, home owner's might find their tree blown over in the first wind.
~Plant Only Winter Hardy Trees
If you have a tree that is planted in a place likely to cause trouble, fall is a good time to dig them up and move them, assuming they are small enough. Troublesome locations include: next to foundations or paths, next to fences, or in a place where it will topple onto your roof. If a homeowner plants a new tree, they should ensure that the soil and height requirements for the tree are met by the selected location, stake it well using expandable tapes. Unless the tree planted is capable of withstanding freezes, homeowners might want to wait until spring to plant it.
~Remove Trees Planted in Troublesome Locations
If a tree is planted next to a home's foundation, grows too tall or too big of a root ball, you should seriously consider removing the tree. Cut it down with a chain saw, piece by piece if small enough, or hire it down if it is a large tree. Then remove the root by hiring someone or chopping it out. Those of you local to the Chicago area can rely on Trees "R" Us, Inc. tree removal.
~Prune Trees for Safety and Accessibility
If your tree is several years old, you may limb up the tree to make it easier to walk past it on a sidewalk or path. Arborvitae can be sheared to fit your space requirements, but be sure to leave green growth. If your evergreen trees generate a second trunk, remove the newest otherwise most don't need pruning. If a homeowner's tree is small enough that you can handle it safely without help, prune to open up the crown, remove the upper limb of a too narrow crotch, remove or tie up the limb that is too wide. Also remove any dead or weak wood. Be safe first and foremost.  If this is out of your comfort range, call upon your local tree service, like Trees "R" Us, Inc.
~Hire an Arborist to Prune Large Trees
If your large trees have any of the following danger signs: too dense of a crown, too narrow of a crotch between limbs, too wide a crotch, dead or weakened wood, or a cavity in the trunk consult an expert arborist to aid them in pruning it. Trees "R" Us, Inc. has 4 arborists on staff to assess your trees and provide you the best in quality tree care.  In addition, if your tree is located on a scenic view, an arborist can help them prune the tree to permit the scenery to shine through. Don't top trees. Don't remove trees on a hillside, they are probably a major source of erosion control.
~Clean Up Leaf Detritus
Remove leaves after they fall in autumn to ensure any plants below the tree get adequate water and light. Removing leaves also removes the environment that many insects that can damage your tree live in.
~Chop Up Fallen Branches and Chip
Your community may have a recycle program that allows branches in recycle bins up to 3 inches in width as long as they are chopped to fit easily in a container. Chipping machines can be hired or purchased and the resulting mulch is good for paths. Removing fallen branches prevents falls and twisted ankles, allows easy passage, and prevents further damage to plants underneath. Again, your local tree service can take care of these things for you and if you are local, Trees "R" Us, Inc. in the Chicago area will provide you with the best fall tree care.
~Fertilize
Because trees continue to take up water and nutrients, late fall or early spring is a good time to fertilize a tree because winter rains will prevent chemical burn. You should make sure to fertilize after the first frost to prevent new tender growth from damage. Most trees don't require fertilizer although they may be better off with the use of some fertilizer.   Fruiting and flowering trees may need it to thrive.  The arborists at Trees "R" Us, Inc. can help you determine the best plan of action for your trees and shrubs.
~Spray for Bugs
Depending on the insect that is attacking a tree, different bug sprays may be needed.  You should seek the opinion of a tree care professional to help you determine what your trees' needs are.  Fall is the best time to apply dormant spray on fruiting trees.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. has a plant health care division that is specially trained to identify pests and treat them accordingly.
~Stake Trees and Protect against Pests
Young trees planted where wind may damage them should be staked until their root ball has grown big enough to support them. Protect against deer and other animal pests by placing a small fence around the base to keep young growth from being nibbled off and thus killing the tree.


Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service in the Chicagoland area.  We service the north shore, north suburbs and northwest suburbs of Chicago.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. has 4 certified arborists on staff ready to assess your plants and tree care needs in a timely manner.  Our services include tree trimming, pruning, stump grinding, emergency tree services, tree removal, cabling and bracing, fertilization and plant health care.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. can be contacted at 847-913-9069 or through our online forms at www.treesrusinc.com.

Thanks for reading,
Nick

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fall fertilization time is upon us

It's hard to believe, but fall is around the corner which means that it is almost time for fall fertilizations for your trees and shrubs.

In general, trees and shrubs that need a nutrient boost get their annual fertilizer application in early spring, right before active growth begins for the year. This timing has been the generally accepted practice by gardeners and experts everywhere for years. And although early spring is a good time, new research indicates there is an even better time.

Many experts now consider late fall, or about a month after the first killing frost, to be the ideal time for applying fertilizers. We now know plants utilize nutrients throughout the year in different ways.

In the past, the most common reason against fertilizing in the fall was the fear that plants and trees would put on new growth if unseasonably warm weather returned, only to be burned or damaged by imminently colder temperatures.

The key is to understand the difference between early fall and late fall timing. If you fertilize in late summer or early fall, when temperatures are still warm and plants are still actively growing, it is likely new growth could occur and damage to tender new foliage could be the likely result.

The rationale for late fall fertilization makes sense when you understand why. At this time, deciduous trees and shrubs have lost their foliage for the year and active growth of plants and trees has slowed. Rather than put on new foliage growth, the roots of established trees or shrubs take the nutrients from the soil and apply them to important health-promoting functions, such as disease resistance and root development. The excess nutrients are stored in the roots and become immediately available when needed for new growth in spring.

However, keep in mind, not all established plants and trees are candidates for a regular fertilization program. I always suggest a soil test be obtained through your local county extension office. Simply gather up a representative soil sample around the area where your trees and shrubs are growing. Be sure to inform the extension service you would like to have the soil tested for this.

The report will let you know what nutrients may be lacking in your soil for optimum growth. The report will also suggest the proper type and amount of nutrients to add.

A common mistake, and not just with trees and shrubs, is to assume fertilizer can and should always be added, and if a little is good, more is better. Nothing could be further from the truth. Excess nutrients are wasted and can end up contaminating the soil, and the environment beyond.

Plants and trees are far more sophisticated then we give them credit!


Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service in the Chicagoland area.  We service the north shore, north suburbs and northwest suburbs of Chicago.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. has 4 certified arborists on staff ready to assess your plants and tree care needs in a timely manner.  Our services include tree trimming, pruning, stump grinding, emergency tree services, tree removal, cabling and bracing, fertilization and plant health care.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. can be contacted at 847-913-9069 or through our online forms at www.treesrusinc.com.

Thanks for reading,
Nick


Sunday, August 26, 2012

common tree diseases follow up

Those of you following the blog know I've spent some time covering information on common tree diseases.  I tried to focus on tree diseases specific to trees in Illinois, the great lakes and our region of the country.  However, there are some diseases I touched upon that are mostly common outside of Illinois as for these diseases, it is really important to create more awareness and  spread the information about their severity to trees. I started the discussion about tree diseases back on August 3, 2012 and just finished up the last one yesterday, Friday, August 24, 2012.  So, if you've stumbled upon this post in hopes of finding some information about your sickly tree, take a look at my posts for the dates listed above.  There are some really informative details in these posts and I often included pictures to help you diagnose a problem and solutions that have been proven to work in controlling the disease or even wiping it out completely. We always welcome comments and new followers, so please feel free. 

If you've come across this post looking for answers for your sick tree and are local to the Chicago area,  please contact me at Trees "R" Us, Inc. Trees "R" Us, Inc. has 4 certified arborists in their plant health care division that are well trained on how to give your trees and plants the proper care they need. Contact me for an analysis of your trees and plants.

Trees "R " Us, Inc. is proud to educate our communities on proper tree care and maintenance.
It is through education that we really save trees and help the environment. We hope you found this post informative and educational.
 
Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service for the Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest suburbs. Tree trimming, tree removal, stump grinding, fertilizations, tree disease treatments and prevention as well as plant health care are just a few of our high quality, professional services. Contact us today for a free analysis or quote at www.treesrusinc.com or at 847-913-9069.
Thanks for reading,
Nick

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Introducing the most destructive tree disease for the pines - White pine blister rust

White pine blister rust is probably the most destructive disease of five-needle (white) pines in North America. 
The three most important commercial white pine hosts are eastern white pine, western white pine and sugar pine. Other five-needle pines such as whitebark pine  and limber pine are also affected but generally have had little economic value. The rust has continued to spread into the southwestern forests where these and other five-needle pines occur. The rust fungus cannot spread from pine to pine but requires an alternate host, Ribesspecies, (currants and gooseberries, collectively called “ribes”), to complete the disease cycle. An outgrowth of the ribes eradication program was a project to select and improve blister rust-resistant white pines, which promises to become the primary means of managing the disease.
For many years white pines were premium timber species and extensive stands existed, but logging largely depleted stands of eastern white pine before blister rust arrived in North America. Harvest of western white pine increased at a rapid pace after blister rust was discovered in the Pacific Northwest and preferential logging of white pine left residual stands of shade-tolerant species such as western hemlock and grand fir that replaced the white pine. White pine regeneration was further impeded by aggressive fire management, which eliminated fire as an ecological factor favorable to establishing white pine. Although natural reproduction occurs, young white pines are subject to rust infection and establishment of pure pine stands is not possible. Reestablishment of western white pine stands using several management tools is the current goal.


Symptoms
The earliest symptom of blister rust is a yellow or red spot on needles soon after infection occurs, but this symptom is indistinct and often overlooked. The disease is usually first detected by a slight swelling of the infected branch. As the disease progresses this swollen area becomes a spindle-shaped canker  sometimes with a detectable difference in bark color at the margin of the canker. Determining the proximal margins of branch cankers is important when evaluating the feasibility of pruning to remove these branches. After 1 or 2 years the fungus produces spores from the canker. Eventually the canker will completely girdle the branch, kill it, and the needles distal to the canker become a distinct red color to produce a blister rust flag (see below - right).


A branch canker on a young western white pine showing the typical spindle-shaped swelling. Removing this branch would probably prevent the fungus from entering the main stem (click image for larger view).
A young western white pine with multiple blister rust infections as indicated by the prominent red foliage (“flags”) on several branches. This tree was typical of many in the area (click image for larger view).
If the point of infection is on the main stem (i.e., bole or trunk) or relatively close to the main stem on a branch, cankers develop on the main stem. The bark around the margin of these cankers often has a distinct orange color (see below - left). Sporulation by the fungus occurs at the margins of these cankers and there may be abundant resin flow from the canker (see below - right). When the canker girdles the bole, the portion of the tree above the canker dies and the foliage fades to yellow and finally red. Usually cankers are low enough that the tree is killed but on larger trees only the top or one or more large branches may be killed initially, leaving the lower crown unaffected. These trees may live for many years although the weakened trees are subject to attack by other pests such as bark beetles and Armillaria.


A young canker on the main stem near the base of a western white pine sapling showing the characteristic orange coloration of the bark around the border of the canker. This tree will probably be killed within a few years (click image forlarger view).
A blister rust canker that has been excised by rodents feeding on the canker bark. Note the heavy flow of resin below the canker, a typical symptom of blister rust cankers on the main stem (click image for larger view).


Causal Agent
White pine blister rust is caused by Cronartium ribicola, a fungus that requires two different host plants and involves five spore stages to complete its life cycle. White pines are the more important economic host. Ribesspecies are the alternate hosts on which the uredinial and telial stages are produced. Basidiospores (sporidia) are the fifth spore stage and develop from the teliospores.


Disease Cycle and Epidemiology
Infection of pine occurs in late summer or fall by basidiospores produced from teliospores on ribes leaves. Basidiospore germ tubes enter needles through stomata and the fungus grows into the branches where the fungal mycelium becomes established, forming a blister rust canker that continues to develop and expand. Eventually the fungus may grow into the main stem from branch cankers located near the trunk. Occasionally the main stem of young trees is infected directly via needles attached to the stem and these trees are killed within a few years. Basidiospores are relatively fragile spores and do not spread over long distances but may travel for several miles and remain viable if climate and topography are favorable. In general, cool, moist conditions favor their survival, germination, and entry into the pines.
Pycnia (spermogonia) form at the margin of a canker and pycniospores (spermatia) are produced over the following year or two. Pycniospores function in some way to fertilize compatible receptive hyphae, resulting in mycelium that produces dikaryotic aeciospores the following year. Aecia erupt through the bark and appear as white blisters (see below - left). The white membrane ruptures to release masses of yellow-orange aeciospores (see below - right). Aeciospores are wind-borne, often for long distances, to infect the alternate hosts (ribes). Within a few weeks of infection, uredinial pustules develop on the lower surface of ribes leaves; urediniospores are the repeating stage and serve to spread the rust to other ribes in the vicinity. Hair-shaped telial columns, consisting of rectangular or fusoid teliospores develop from the lower leaf surfaces of infected ribes, usually emerging from uredinial pustules but occasionally erupting directly from infected leaf tissue.


A typical blister rust canker on western white pine showing aecia before the peridial membranes have ruptured to release the aeciospores (click image forlarger view).
A blister rust canker after the peridial membranes have ruptured showing the yellow-orange masses of aeciospores that are wind-disseminated to initiate infection in ribes leaves (click image forlarger view).


Management
Nurseries. Blister rust infected pine seedlings from European nurseries carried the disease to North America and management of the disease may be considered in nurseries. However, if all ribes are removed from the vicinity of a nursery, including a buffer zone of about 1000 feet, impact of the disease should be minimal. The disease should be even less of a concern if rust-resistant stock is being grown.
Ribes Eradication. Although early ribes eradication programs were discontinued as unsuccessful, ribes are still mentioned as a concern in blister rust management. Removal of ribes is labor intensive, costly, and may not be feasible in most cases, but may be justified where ribes bushes are not numerous, easy to locate and remove, and of highly susceptible species (see below). However, in some situations such as high hazard zones, blister rust spores can be blown in from ribes plants outside of a management area, thereby reducing the benefit of local ribes eradication. It should also be noted that not all ribes are equally susceptible to blister rust. Some red-fruited currant varieties are highly resistant or immune to the disease.



Abundant ribes growing along a stream in the vicinity of the white pines shown in Figs. 2 and 8 (click image forlarger view).
Rust Hazard Zones. In the course of the ribes eradication program it was observed that infection often occurred at distances greater, perhaps a mile or more, than the ribes-free zones established around white pine stands. This long-distance movement of basidiospores was more likely in low-lying areas where cooler air settles. Studies in the Lakes States showed that topographical depressions and forest openings with diameters less than the height of the surrounding trees retain cool most air and maintain conditions favorable for basidiospore deposition and infection of pines. These areas are designated as high hazard zones and should be avoided when planting white pine. However, hazard zone guidelines are not universally applicable and must be developed for different areas and regions.
Pruning. Pruning was considered early as a means of controlling blister rust on valuable ornamental trees and in recent years is recommended for forests and plantations. Like ribes eradication, pruning is labor intensive, costly, and requires a certain degree of judgment and skill. Several pruning operations may be required over a period of time, thereby increasing the cost even more. 
Pruning can serve several functions:
1. There are reports hat a majority of blister rust infections occur within 10 feet of the ground and removing the lower branches eliminates these primary infection points of the pathogen. However, some infections do occur above this height, especially in advanced reproduction and pole stands, making pruning unfeasible in these cases. Guidelines for pruning can be obtained from state and federal foresters in a given area but pruning usually is restricted to the lower 6 to 8 feet of the tree and does not remove more than 50 percent of the live branches.
2. Infected branches can be removed before the fungus enters the main stem of the tree. Generally, removing cankers beyond 4 to 6 inches from the main stem (depending on size of the branch) can effectively prevent entry of the fungus. However, if cankers are less than 4 to 6 inches from the bole the chances are great that the fungus is already in the main stem and pruning is not effective. Cankers beyond 24 inches from the bole probably will self-prune before the fungus can reach the main stem and are not a threat to the tree. Missing a potentially lethal branch canker can negate the benefits of removing infected branches, and trees with multiple branch cankers or cankers close to the bole do not merit pruning. Since blister rust does not spread from pine to pine, these trees do not constitute a hazard to the remaining healthy trees.
3. Restriction of air movement and shading by the lower branches promote cool, humid conditions that favor blister rust infection (1). Removing the lower branches increases air circulation and sunlight penetration into the area where most infections occur in younger trees. However, maintaining an overstory over young trees reduces dew formation on needles that is favorable for infection.
4.  In addition to the objective of blister rust management, pruning can improve timber quality by producing clear, knot-free lumber from the pruned portion of the trunk. This requires removal of branches to the height of the first saw log, usually 16 to 18 feet from the ground, necessitating several pruning operations and special equipment.
Disease Resistance. Efforts have been made over the past 50 years to develop rust-resistant white pines and seed of blister rust-resistant western white pine is now available.  The level of resistance is reported to be approximately 66 percent and over-planting by about 50% is required to guarantee full stocking at harvest. There is some question about the exact amount of resistance and how these rust-resistant trees will respond over time but in the relatively short term plantings evaluated to date, i.e., 8 to 25 years, the resistant trees have had about half the infection as unimproved trees. Rust resistance breeding programs are also being carried out with eastern white pine and sugar pine, but seed of resistant lines of these species is not yet available to the public.
Selection of apparently resistant trees in established stands as a seed source has been recommended but the success of this practice is not known. Such trees often occur in areas where blister rust is severe and selection pressure for disease resistance is high. It is suggested that progeny from these trees will be sufficiently resistant to survive until merchantable; about 60 years on good sites. However, these apparently resistant trees may simply have escaped infection for one or more reasons and their progeny will be as susceptible as any other white pine. Disease escape poses one of the problems in developing disease resistance in trees, necessitating extensive inoculation testing of the progeny to ensure that lack of disease is due to genetic factors.


Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service in the Chicagoland area.  We service the north shore, north suburbs and northwest suburbs of Chicago.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. has 4 certified arborists on staff ready to assess your plants and tree care needs in a timely manner.  Our services include tree trimming, pruning, stump grinding, emergency tree services, tree removal, cabling and bracing, fertilization and plant health care.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. can be contacted at 847-913-9069 or through our online forms at www.treesrusinc.com.

Thanks for reading,
Nick



An apparently rust-free western white pine. The picture was taken from the location of the ribes 


Friday, August 24, 2012

verticillium wilt tree disease

Verticillium wilt is common in many soils and affects several hundred herbaceous and woody plant species. Ash, catalpa, maple, redbud and yellow poplar are most frequently infected trees in the landscape but rarely in natural forest conditions. This disease can become a serious problem on susceptible hosts in infested soils but many tree varieties have been developed with some resistance.
Verticillium is caused by a soil-borne fungus called Verticillium.  This fungus is responsible for this serious vascular disease. The fungi enters a tree through its roots. It attacks ash, barberry, catalpa, elm, magnolia, maple, Russian olive, redbud, smoketree, tuliptree, and viburnum. 

Light colored leaves with a dull appearance are seen in early summer. The leaves then begin to wilt and whole branches die. It is primarily a disease of the landscape and not a real problem in the natural forest.

Prevention:

You need to purchase disease-resistant seedlings and saplings when planting plus keep plants healthy. Use proper transplanting practices, water the tree, apply fertilizer in appropriate amounts and prune. Good plant health care management practices should help keep the "wilt" away. Do you know how to keep your tree healthy? Take This Test.

Control:

There is no known cure once the disease is present. It may take as long as a decade or only several years to kill a tree.


At Trees "R" Us, Inc. we take pride in not only our professional tree care services, but also educating our customers.  It is through education that we really save trees and help the environment.  We hope you found this post informative and educational. 
Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service for the Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest suburbs.  Tree trimming, tree removal, stump grinding, fertilizations, tree disease treatments and prevention as well as plant health care are just a few of our high quality, professional services.  Contact us today for a free analysis or quote at www.treesrusinc.com or at 847-913-9069.
Thanks for reading,
Nick
nick@treesrusinc.com

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Could Thousand Cankers Disease be coming our way?

Thousand cankers disease is a newly discovered disease of walnuts including black walnut. The disease results from the walnut twig beetle (Pityophthorus juglandis) hosting a canker producing fungus in the genus Geosmithia (proposed name Geosmithia morbida). The disease was thought to be restricted to the western United States where over the past decade it has been involved in several large scale die-offs of walnut, particularly black walnut, Juglans nigra. Unfortunately, it has now been found in eastern Tennessee.

Thousand Cankers Disease Host Carrier - The walnut twig beetle can carry spores of Geosmithia morbida as an external contaminant on its body. When the beetle tunnels into walnut limbs, the fungus colonizes the gallery walls and adjacent bark tissue. Eventually all of the inner bark is killed and the branch dies. The number of cankers that are formed on branches and the trunk is large and thus the name thousand cankers is used describe the disease.

Thousand Cankers Disease EARLY Symptoms - Symptoms can be noticed as early as late June. The walnut tree can look "thin" in portions of the crown with yellowing and wilting leaves. These compound leaves may appear smaller than normal. As the disease progresses, there will be a collapse of limb foliage and cankers may be seen on branches below the wilting foliage.

Thousand Cankers Disease LATE Symptoms - Black walnut trees usually die in less than three years after first symptoms are seen. Smaller branches have numerous tiny holes and larger branches will show cankers in inner bark tissue when scraped. All symptoms occur within the bark but not found in the wood.

Thousand Cankers Disease Control - Effective controls for thousand cankers disease have not yet been identified. If they exist, their development will require better understanding of the biology of the walnut twig beetle and the canker-producing Geosmithia fungus. The ability of insecticides (for beetle management) to help manage Thousand Cankers Disease appears to be limited and without controlling the beetle host not much can be done to control the canker.

If you are concerned about your trees for any reason, please contact Trees "R" Us, Inc.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. has 4 certified arborists in their plant health care division that are well trained on how to give your trees and plants the proper care they need.  Contact us for an analysis of your trees and plants.

Trees "R " Us, Inc. is proud to educate our communities on proper tree care and maintenance.

It is through education that we really save trees and help the environment.  We hope you found this post informative and educational. 
Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service for the Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest suburbs.  Tree trimming, tree removal, stump grinding, fertilizations, tree disease treatments and prevention as well as plant health care are just a few of our high quality, professional services.  Contact us today for a free analysis or quote at www.treesrusinc.com or at 847-913-9069.
Thanks for reading,
Nick

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sudden oak death is a real travesty


Mainly a tree disease that hits trees and plants in California and other areas in the Pacific Northwest, Sudden oak death (SOD) is a very serious plant disease.  SOD attacks many types of plants and trees common to the Pacific Northwest, including azaleas, big leaf maples, huckleberry, California bay laurel, camellia, myrtles, honeysuckle, Pacific madrone, Douglas fir, rhododendrons, and vibernum. It does not affect humans and is not a food safety concern.

Sudden oak death is caused by a pathogen called Phytophthora ramorum. The pathogen is not a fungus or a bacterium, but a member of a unique group of organisms called Oomycetes. Oomycetes share some characteristics of fungi but are biologically different. 

  

Symptoms of Sudden Oak Death
Symptoms vary from plant to plant, and may include leaf spots, needle and tip blight, shoot-tip dieback, and canker formations. Many other plant pathogens cause the same symptoms. The only way to confirm the presence of sudden oak death is through laboratory testing.

The SOD phenomenon was first reported in 1995 in central coastal California. Since then, tens of thousands of tanoaks, coast live oaks, and California black oaks have been killed by a newly identified fungus, Phytophthora ramorum. On these hosts, the fungus causes a bleeding canker on the stem.

Eventhough SOD is mainly found on the west coast, SOD is of great concern to land managers in the Eastern U.S. as well, because at least two eastern oak species, northern pin oak (Quercus palustris) and northern red oak(Quercus rubra), are highly susceptible to the disease when inoculated with the pathogen. Forest land managers nationwide should be aware of the symptoms of sudden oak death, and should contact a pest management specialist right away if they suspect that the disease is present in a new location.

There are not many successful treatments for SOD, however there is a popular treatment that does not kill the pathogen, but that it stops its growth if used in the early stages of infection.  This is why it is imperative to contact your local tree service, arborist or pest management specialist right away if you suspect your trees may infected with the SOD fungus.

At Trees "R" Us, Inc. we take pride in not only our professional tree care services, but also educating our customers. It is through education that we really save trees and help the environment. We hope you found this post informative and educational.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service for the Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest suburbs. Tree trimming, tree removal, stump grinding, fertilizations, tree disease treatments and prevention as well as plant health care are just a few of our high quality, professional services. Contact us today for a free analysis or quote at www.treesrusinc.com or at 847-913-9069.

Thanks for reading,
Nick
nick@treesrusinc.com

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Is that chimney soot on my trees?

No, of course there's no chimney soot on your trees!  Your trees have what is called sooty mold.  Sooty mold appropriately describes the disease, as it looks just like chimney soot. Although unsightly, it seldom damages the tree.
The pathogens are dark fungi growing either on the honeydew excreted by sucking insects or on exuded material coming from leaves of certain trees. Sooty mold may occur on any tree but is most commonly seen on boxelder, elm, linden, and maple.

Prevention:

Sooty molds are associated with high temperatures and increased stress brought on by limited moisture. During drought, aphid populations and their honeydew production typically increase on foliage undergoing moisture stress. Keep plants well watered and free of insects.

Control:

Sooty molds can be indirectly controlled by reducing populations of sucking insects that excrete honeydew. Use the appropriate recommended chemicals that control aphids and other sucking insects. Also, a good washing of infested tree's foliage (if possible) can dilute the honeydew and wash off mold. That just may be all that is needed.
Gross looking, but not a big deal at all.

This informative post on one of the many common tree diseases that I've been blogging about has been brought to you by Trees "R" Us, Inc.


Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service in the Chicagoland area.  We service the north shore, north suburbs and northwest suburbs of Chicago.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. has 4 certified arborists on staff ready to assess your plants and tree care needs in a timely manner.  Our services include tree trimming, pruning, stump grinding, emergency tree services, tree removal, cabling and bracing, fertilization and plant health care.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. can be contacted at 847-913-9069 or through our online forms at www.treesrusinc.com.

Thanks for reading,
Nick

Monday, August 20, 2012

More on cankers



Scleroderris canker


Scleroderris canker caused by the fungus, Gremmeniella abietina.

Importance
Scleroderris canker has killed many trees in conifer plantations and forest nurseries in the northern areas of the Lake States. The fungus can be transported on nursery stock to field locations where new pockets of infection develop. Two strains of the fungus are known in North America. The North American strain, present in scattered locations in the northern Lake States and Northeastern States, attacks young trees but does little damage to trees taller than 7 feet (see below, left photo). The European strain has been found in several New England States where it has killed many trees of all ages in red pine plantations (see below right photo). The European strain is an extremely serious hazard to pine forests. Because of this potential hazard, forest managers in the Lake States need to know how to avoid major losses from this disease.
figure 13figure 14


Biology

figure 15
In the North American strain, primary infection is by windblown spores (ascospores). These are disseminated during moist weather from April to October; the major spore discharge and infection are in June and July. The spores infect through buds or needles, and infected branch tips usually die by the following summer. A characteristic symptom during May and June is an orange discoloration at the base of otherwise green needles (see right). The fungus may grow down the branch and into the main stem of the tree where a canker commonly forms (see below). The stem of a young seedling is quickly girdled, and the tree is killed.
figure 16

A few months after an infected branch dies, fruiting bodies (pycnidia) appear near the base of dead needle fasicles. Asexual spores (conidia) ooze out of these pycnidia during wet weather from April to October. These spores are transported by rain splash and wind to nearby branches, spreading the infection in individual trees and onto adjacent trees. Fruiting bodies (apothecia) appear in early summer on branches that have been dead for 1 to 2 years (see below). The apothecia are also commonly found at the base of dead needle fasicles and are often found in association with the pycnidial stage.
figure 17



In the European strain, the windblown ascospore stage is rarely found and the infection period of the conidial spore stage is longer than in the North American strain, making it more difficult to control.
Management Guidelines
The best way to prevent the introduction of the dangerous European strain into the Lake States is to make sure that infected nursery stock, Christmas trees, or other infected material is not introduced.

In the Field
  • Pick red pine planting sites where Scleroderris canker is not present.
  • If the planting site is in a Scleroderris canker hazard area, select a species for planting that is immune or has a low susceptibility. Hard pines are highly susceptible, but spruces, cedars, firs, and larches are more resistant to infection.
  • Avoid geographic depressions, such as frost pockets, where the disease is most damaging.
  • Select planting stock from a nursery outside of the range of Scleroderris canker or from a nursery that has an effective fungicide control program.
  • Do not plant infected seedlings.
  • In high-value stands, prune lower branches on infected and healthy trees.
  • Do not ship infected red pine Christmas trees into areas where Scieroderris canker is not present.
  • Abide by all quarantine laws designed to prevent the introduction of the European strain into areas where it is not present.
Lots to consider here.  Hope this helps you keep your trees free from disease.  If it seems like too much to monitor call us or your local tree service with a plant health care division.  The Trees "R" Us, Inc. plant health care is a tree, plant and shrub maintenance program that will allow you to have more time to devote to your family rather than your lawn and garden.  We fertilize, protect and care for your plants giving you timely advice and proper maintenance.  Check out our plant health care program on our website at http://treesrusinc.com/plant-health_-care.html.

At Trees "R" Us, Inc. we take pride in not only our professional tree care services, but also educating our customers. It is through education that we really save trees and help the environment. We hope you found this post informative and educational.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service for the Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest suburbs. Tree trimming, tree removal, stump grinding, fertilizations, tree disease treatments and prevention as well as plant health care are just a few of our high quality, professional services. Contact us today for a free analysis or quote at www.treesrusinc.com or at 847-913-9069.

Thanks for reading,
Nick
nick@treesrusinc.com

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Powdery Mildew Tree Disease

I've taken the past few weeks to blog about some common tree diseases.  There are still a few left on  my list to cover.  I bet you never thought that our trees are susceptible to so many different fungi and diseases!
The next common tree disease on my list is called powdery mildew tree disease.  It is a common disease that appears as a white powdery substance on the leaf surface. The powdery appearance comes from millions of tiny fungal spores, which are spread in air currents to cause new infections. It attacks all kinds of trees. Trees most commonly affected by powdery mildew are linden, crabapple, catalpa and chokecherry, but almost any tree or shrub can get powdery mildew.

Prevention:

Powdery mildew is a product of moist conditions and is usually seen in the wetter spring and fall seasons. This humidity-loving fungi can be controlled if moisture can be controlled.
Don't plant trees in heavily-shaded areas and provide plenty of space for air movement and growing room. Prune the tree for effective air movement.

Control:

If necessary, spray with wettable sulfur at the recommended rate specified on the label. Sulfur may injure tender foliage, especially in hot weather so be careful. Do not use sulfur on walnuts, as injury may occur. Other fungicides can also be used under certain conditions. Check with your local tree service for more information.  If you are local to Chicagoland, Trees "R" Us, Inc. is the tree service for you! 


Trees "R " Us, Inc. is proud to educate our communities on proper tree care and maintenance.

It is through education that we really save trees and help the environment.  We hope you found this post informative and educational. 
Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service for the Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest suburbs.  Tree trimming, tree removal, stump grinding, fertilizations, tree disease treatments and prevention as well as plant health care are just a few of our high quality, professional services.  Contact us today for a free analysis or quote at www.treesrusinc.com or at 847-913-9069.
Thanks for reading,
Nick