Sunday, April 26, 2015

When this happens to trees, it's a bad sign.

Let's talk decay. Decay is rot. Rot is bad, really bad. 

Tree rot can be slow to develop and potentially very dangerous. Even worse is that 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.

You know you have trees that have decay, now what?

Pruning is the easiest of answers. Effective pruning by a professional tree service is the best choice. You should aim to eliminate codominant leaders early in the tree's life as well as removing 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.

Another good choice of prevention is the 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.

Some other things you can do when your trees have rot are make sure they are in the right location. Right plant, right 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. Proper spacing and proper planting procedures all directly affect the health of trees too. Getting things right from the start allow for a health root system, which is key in the tree's health. 

Surprisingly, mulch is also a key factor in helping the tree remain healthy. Mulching with coarse wood chips to prevent mower blight and reduce grass competition is a great idea.

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.

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.

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,

President and CEO, Trees "R" Us, Inc.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

These springtime tree disease can be treated!

There is finally an end in sight to this wintery weather and it's just mid April. About time! Here is Chicagoland spring weather is finally fast approaching. Budding trees and blooming flowers are on their way. But with that comes the unfortunate occurrence of serious tree diseases. 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.

There are 2 main diseases we see year after year that constitute for the bulk of our diseased tree work.  One of these diseases is Anthracnose and the other is Fireblight.

Anthracnose is a fungal foliar disease. Susceptible are sycamore, oak (especially white), and maple. This fungus will cause defoliation. Anthracnose is usually noticeable in May with definite and overt signs by June. If you think your trees may be consumed with Anthracnose, it is important to contact a local tree service to see what treatment they can offer.

The other main disease we see over and over in our area is Fireblight. This is a a bacterial disease that
causes wilting and blackening of blossoms and leaves on trees. This disease occurs early on, right after leaves appear and can produce symptoms that last all summer long. The first sign of fireblight occurs May through early June depending on your geographic location. It is important to contact your local tree service and have them treat your trees for this disease.

The best way to know if your trees may be infected by one of these diseases is to contact your local tree service. Always be cautious when it comes to tree diseases. You've invested a lot of time, energy and dollars into your trees and landscape. It would be a shame if a simple treatment could save your tree and you didn't treat it in time.

In the Chicago area and looking for a reputable tree service you can trust? Trees "R" Us, Inc. is the professional tree company that services 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,
President and CEO, Trees "R" Us, Inc.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Are you seeing spots?

If you are seeing spots, you are not alone.  What are these ugly black spots on the leaves of my trees?
The black spots you are seeing on the leaves of your trees is likely Anthacnose. It 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 options your local tree service should be able to help you out with.

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,

Trees "R" Us, Inc. President and CEO

Sunday, April 5, 2015

How to Keep EAB at Bay BEFORE It Eats the Heck Out of Your Tree!

Emerald Ash Borer, AKA EAB, will burrow its way into your tree and kill it quickly. They've killed millions of ash trees across the United States.  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.  

What should you do to protect your trees from this nasty bug? Contact your local Certified Arborist. The best time to do so is in the spring. T
Their job is to identify your trees and apply the EAB treatment if necessary.  If you get start with an insecticides in the spring, you will have the best chance of saving the ash trees on your property. 
If your tree is already showing signs of EAB damage, treatments may not be effective. 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.

There are two products that are generally rather effective in treating EAB; bidrin and imidacloprid. Only those holding certification to use these products may use them on trees. You can not find these products in the big box stores or nurseries. By law, homeowners can not handle the more effective chemicals.  A special license is needed in order to apply these. Your local Certified Arborist should hold this certification and be able to treat EAB for you.

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.