Sunday, February 22, 2015

How will you protect your trees from Dutch Elm Disease?

Dutch Elm Disease. You've probably heard the name, but do you really know what it is? Do you know how to prevent it? Can you prevent it? Treat it? Let's start at the beginning.

Dutch Elm Disease is a nasty tree bug that has the potential of destroying all the elms of an entire community quickly. I've seen this happen first hand many times. We've contracted with villages to remove literally 100s of infected trees leaving the once tree-lined city streets bare. 

The major problem is that elm trees have no natural defenses against the bug since the bug is not from this region. It was imported here from France and here it stays. Not one of the better things we got from France, huh?

Another problem is that communities primarily planted one tree species which would end up lining thousands of streets in the U.S., the elm. We chose elms because they are beautiful and hearty in our unpredictable climate. If well maintained, they could last for hundreds of years. However, by lining all our trees with the elm, and only the elm, we had a huge source of food for an insect or disease outbreak such as Dutch Elm Disease. 

 The disaster began in 1931 when a shipment of elm logs transported from France to Cleveland, Ohio introduced the Dutch elm fungus to the U.S. and that simple shipment of logs started this endless cycle of disease. As a result, approximately 77 million elm trees were wiped out between 1931 and 1980. A staggering number.

What did we learn from this? Protection! Try to protect these trees that have no natural defense against this deadly bug. Tree maintenance by a professional tree service company is key. Trees "R" Us, Inc. has experience dealing with this bug, diagnosing tree diseases, and providing you either with a treatment plan or a prevention plan. Trees "R " Us, Inc. has been working on controlling the spread of Dutch Elm Disease on the North Shore area of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs since the mid 1990s. We certainly have seen our fair share of trees that have perished from the bug and don't want to see anymore! Prompt and correct treatment is key and Trees "R" Us, Inc. is here to help you. Contact us at, fill out our online form or call us at 847-913-9069.

The other valuable lesson is also crucial to keeping this disease at bay. Citizens and officials must learn that they need to diversify street tree plantings to prevent disease outbreaks that cause mass die-offs. If the citizens and officials had heeded this warning back in the 1930s, the tree loss from that era wouldn't be so staggering. It's a good thing we all learned our lesson...or did we? Many communities are still only planting Elms and not taking the appropriate measures to protect them.

Now, that is just a plain waste of money. It is just a matter of time before those trees become infected and have to be removed. Wise up! Do your research! Plant accordingly.

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day from Trees "R" Us, Inc.

It's Valentine's Day and if you still are searching for that last minute gift, why not give a gift that will grow and be an asset for years to come. You guessed it, I'm talking about trees.

Trees are an integral part of our health, create legacies, give a shady to have picnic and best of all add property value and lower cooling costs.

Trees help save the environment in many ways and offer people more benefits than we realize.

So, if you are still looking for that perfect gift, run to your local nursery and either get a tree now or grab a gift certificate for when the weather turns a bit in Chicagoland, Mother Nature has not been kind. It is still freezing...and snowy. So many of you will want to plant in the spring after the ground thaws.

Locals to Chicagoland can take note that Trees "R" Us, Inc. can help you choose the right tree, plant it in the right place and even maintain it after it is in the ground. Trees must be healthy and to keep trees healthy they need quality care.  Quality care depends on you!

Trees "R" Us, Inc. has all you need to keep your trees healthy and well maintained.  We are the premier choice for tree care and tree services for many villages around the North Shore and surrounding suburbs.  Give us call or shoot us an email.  {847}913-9069.  Quotes are always free.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Tips on Treating Emerald Ash Borer

EAB - Emerald Ash Borer is destroying ash trees everywhere. 

It is not uncommon for us to have to remove literally 100s of ash trees from Chicagoland neighborhoods that have fallen victim to EAB.

EAB is a beetle,  no larger than a penny, that has killed millions of trees in Illinois and our neighboring states.  EAB originated in Asia and probably made its way to the US in wood packing material.  It's unfortunate, but our ash trees have no line of defense against EAB.

Spring will be here soon and if you didn't notice signs of EAB last year, that doesn't mean your tree(s) aren't victims of EAB.

Here are a few things to watch for this spring. 

1. Your tree could be infested with EAB if you notice a dieback in the canopy of the tree.  EAB strikes the top 1/3 of the canopy first and progresses until the tree is bare.

2. Also, bark that splits vertically and a zig zap pattern across the woodgrain is another tell tale sign of EAB.

3. You may also notice D-shaped exit holes in the bark.  These are exit holes made by the adult beetle when they emerge in the spring.

4. Woodpeckers like EAB larvae, so heavy woodpecker damage is another sign of infestation.

A good thing is that EAB only attacks ash trees, so your other trees should be safe from this bug.

A really important thing to remember is not to move firewood to prevent the spread of EAB.

What to do if you think EAB has made its way to your trees

If you think you have a tree infested with EAB, you'll need to treat it with insecticides, and you'll need to treat it every year thereafter. This is a must.  It is best to treat the tree when it is still healthy.

If you have an ash tree, it is time to get an Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) treatment. 

First and foremost, contact a professional arborist to confirm the EAB infestation and the severity of it to determine the correct treatment or if the treatment will be effective.  A professional tree service company will also have access to some products that are not available to the general public that may work much better than the ones you can purchase locally.  While it is true that you can get some EAB treatments from the bog box stores and other nurseries, these treatments are often ineffective as they are not strong enough to effectively treat the infestation. In order to use the treatments that really work, you need to be licensed. This is where a tree service with professional Certified Arborists on staff comes in. With out the help of a Certified Arborist and qualified tree service, your efforts will probably be an effort in futility. 

Trees "R" Us, Inc., a professional tree service on the North Shore and surrounding suburbs, handles many EAB cases every year.  We have Certified Arborists on staff to help determine if your tree is infested and the best plan of action for your tree.  Our staff is fully trained on how to apply insecticides and which treatments will work on the infestation you have.  Most of our work in concentrated on the North Shore, however we work across Cook, Lake and McHenry counties and see many, many EAB cases each year.  Contact us today for a free estimate., 874-913-9069, or  You can trust your trees to Trees "R" Us, Inc.

Thanks for reading and protect your trees!
President and CEO, Trees "R" Us, Inc.

Monday, February 2, 2015

6 More Weeks of Winter? Say Whaaaat?

Happy Groundhog Day peeps! 

Our little friend, Punxsutawney Phil, did see his shadow this morning. Do you believe in this folklore? If so, you're preparing for 6 more weeks of winter. Although many of you are haters on winter and 6 more weeks of the snow and cold is enough to make you start looking for property in Florida, we absolutely love it! Why? Winter is a very busy time of year for us because it is one of the best times to trim many species of trees.

Winter tree trimming is a large part of our business, so thank you Punxsutawney Phil for giving us 6 more weeks to trim our trees!

Remember that as much as we don't like winter, our trees aren't huge fans either. Winter is harsh on trees, especially newly planted ones.  Give your trees a little extra TLC during these cold months.  We are more than half way through winter, have you given your trees what they deserve?

Here are a few things you can still do give your trees a little extra TLC and to make sure your trees are healthy for the spring.

1.  One of the best things you can do for your trees is to have them trimmed. Prune your tree's dead or damaged branches.  Winter is a great time to prune your trees.  With no leaves, you can see the tree's structure really well.  However, remember that it is best to leave pruning jobs to a professional.  Not only can these jobs be dangerous, but also over trimming and pruning away healthy branches is bad for the tree.  Many factors are considered during the pruning process.  A qualified, experienced arborist will know exactly what is best for your trees. Tree trimming by a professional is the way to go.

2. Try not to use rock salt or deicers around your trees.  They prohibit some of the tree's roots from absorbing oxygen and water, as well as many of the nutrients it needs to thrive.

3.  Remove any left over holiday lights or decorations.  Lights that are left on too long can wind up girdling your tree, which means your tree's branches aren't getting the nutrients they need.  This will end up killing your tree.  If you are removing lights or decorations from your tree, do so gently.  Be careful not a damage any buds on the branches.  Many trees set their buds for new leaves and flowers for the following season in the fall.

4. Fresh mulch.  You should really do this in the fall to give your trees an added layer of 'insulation', but if you didn't make sure your trees get some fresh mulch as soon as the weather permits. Organic Solutions in Wauconda can help you decide what type of mulch is best for your landscape.

Local Chicagoans can contact Trees "R" Us, Inc. for your next tree trimming job.  

Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service company on the North Shore and surrounding suburbs.  We've got the right experience, qualified staff, and estimates are always free.

Thanks for reading,