Friday, May 29, 2015

Welcome Our Newest Certified Arborist, Tim Taddy

We are both proud and excited to have Certified Arborist, Tim Taddy, join the Trees "R" Us, Inc. family.

Besides expansive knowledge of the tree industry, Tim comes to us with a unique skill set.

After graduating University of Wisconsin Green Bay in 1986 with an Masters of Science in Forest Pathology, Tim started his career in arboriculture in 1987. By 1989 he became a Certified Arborist (certification number IL-0136). He has a love for trees and nature and has been in the industry ever since. Tim served on the Illinois Arborist Association Board of Directors for two years as the Commercial Director. That unique experience is what makes Tim excellent at customer service in addition to tree care. In addition, Tim proudly served in the United States Air Force from 1974 to 1978. He has been married to his wife Ruth for 32 years and has one son. Besides his love for trees, Tim enjoys golfing, fishing, hunting and being in the wilderness. Tim manages the Trees "R" Us, Inc. Cook County area for sales. Please join us in welcoming Tim to our friendly team of tree care professionals!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Are you ready for an inspection?

It's time for an inspection. A tree inspection that is. Proper tree care starts with aligning yourself with a good tree service that will come to your property each year and assess your trees. A yearly inspection followed by a maintenance plan is key to keeping your investment in nature healthy for years to come. 

What's involved with a tree inspection?
Don't worry this isn't the military! So your inspection will not ask you to stand at attention and sport
perfectly ironed clothing. Rather a tree inspection is there to catch potential harm and changes in a tree’s health before a disease, insect, or environmental problem becomes too serious to address. Ideally, mature trees should be inspected at least once a year to assess four characteristics of tree vitality: new leaf or bud formation, leaf size, twig growth, and absence of crown dieback (gradual death of the upper part of the tree).

Any abnormalities found during these inspections, such as insect activity and/or spotted, deformed, discolored, or dead leaves and twigs, should be noted and monitored closely. If you are uncertain about what to do, contact Trees "R" Us, Inc if you are in the Chicagoland area for advice on treatment options.

Do you mulch?
Mulch is another key component to tree health....when done right otherwise it will do the oppostie and harm the tree. Mulching can reduce environmental stress by providing trees with a more
moderate root environment that has fewer temperature and moisture extremes than the surrounding soil. Mulch reduces competition from weeds and grass and prevents mechanical damage by keeping lawn care equipment away from the tree’s base. Mulches made from plant matter, such as shredded leaves, pine straw, peat moss, or composted wood chips, will add nutrients to the soil as they decompose and help improve overall soil biology. To be most effective, mulch should be placed 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) deep and cover as much of the root system as possible. (Roots can extend as far as 2 or 3 times the diameter of the branch spread of the tree.) When placing mulch, care should be taken not to cover the actual trunk of the tree. A mulch-free area around the base that is 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) wide is sufficient to avoid overly moist bark conditions.

Organic Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of Trees "R" Us, Inc. offers a wide variety of mulch at extremely competitive prices. Contact Organic Solutions, Inc. for more information or visit their website at

Did you know that the PH of your soil matter?
Soil management is another important aspect of tree care. Urban landscape trees often exist in soils that lack the nutrients, pH (acidity or alkalinity), drainage, or pore space (air and water space) needed for growth and development. Proper fertilization based on plant needs can correct many deficiencies
that limit growth. Sometimes soil nutrients may be sufficient, but soil pH levels may prevent plant uptake. In this case, soil amendments, such as sulfur, lime, and even some mulches, can alter soil chemistry and help alleviate plant stress. Drainage systems or grading can help correct saturated soil conditions, although trenching or earthmoving activities within the tree’s root zone may cause more harm than good. Compacted soils can be tilled mechanically or with compressed air to increase porosity and encour- age root growth. Care must be taken when loosening soil under the drip zone to avoid root damage.

When dealing with a mature tree that provides considerable benefit and value to your landscape, it is worth the time and investment to have the soil tested for nutrient content and texture. An arborist from Trees "R" Us, Inc. can arrange to have your soil tested at a soil testing laboratory and recom- mend treatments based on the results.

Pruning is a necessity, but needs to be done right.
Pruning is often desirable or necessary to remove dead, diseased, or insect-infested branches and to
improve tree structure, enhance vitality, or reduce risk. While pruning has many benefits, the removal of live branches creates a lasting wound. No branch should be removed without a reason. The removal of large limbs on a mature tree requires careful consideration.

Pruning large trees requires special equipment, training, and experience. If the pruning work requires climbing, the use of a chain or hand saw, or the removal of large limbs, the use of personal safety equipment, such as protective eyewear and hearing protection, is a must. Arborists from Trees "R" Us, Inc. can assist in performing the job safely and reducing the risk of personal injury and damage to your property. We can also determine which type of pruning is necessary to maintain or improve the health, appearance, and safety of your trees.
Sadly, trees need to be removed sometimes.
Although tree removal is a last resort, there are circumstances when it is necessary. The professionally trained Trees "R" Us, Inc. arborists can help decide whether or not a tree should be removed and possess the skills and equipment to safely and efficiently remove trees. Removal is
recommended when a tree:

• is dead, dying, or considered irreparably hazardous

• is causing an obstruction or is crowding and causing harm to other trees and the situation is impossible to correct through pruning

• is to be replaced by a more suitable specimen

• should be removed to allow for construction

With proper maintenance, trees can add aesthetic and economic value to your property. Poorly maintained trees, on the other hand, can be a significant liability. For more information on mature tree care and tree maintenance, contact Trees "R" Us, Inc. at 847-913-9069 or visit our website at Trees "R" Us, Inc. services the Chicagoland area including the North Shore and Northwest Suburbs.

Thanks for reading,
President and CEO, Trees "R" Us, Inc.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

It can cause entire ecosystems to fall apart, yet hardly anyone is doing anything about it

May is invasive species awareness month. What do you know about the invasive species in your town? Do you have some growing right in your yard? Are they poisonous? Take some time this month to educate yourself on what some of the invasive species are in your area. Learn why they are bad and learn about what impacts they will have on the environment. 
We have a round up of these facts below, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. There's so much more information out there and much of it is geographically specific. So read on, but also research on. Onward...
Here's a round up of some quick facts about the invasive species in the USA. Be aware when you read this of the environmental impact these species are having on our plants, wildlife and eco system. Nature works like a well oiled machine, but needs some help when bullies like these show up.

• 100,000,000 acres of land are already infested with invasive plants that are destroying other plants and ecosystems.

• Every year in the USA about 3 million acres are lost to invasive plants  which is equal to two times the area of Delaware).

• We are losing the battle to keep our lands full of nature. Our natural habitats on public lands are being lost at the rate of 4600 acres a day to invasive species.

• Already, invasive non-native organisms have contributed to the decline of 42% of our federally listed threatened and endangered species.

• Much of this is our own fault. Of the 235 woody plants known to invade natural areas in the USA, 85% were introduced primarily for ornamental and landscape purposes, while another 14% were introduced for agricultural uses.

• Invasive species are serious threats to our national parks. Within nearly 200 of the approximately 250 National Parks protecting significant natural resources, non-native plants have been identified as serious threats to those resources.

• Research results suggest that "the increasing dominance of glossy buckthorn in New England pine forest is likely to change the relative abundance of tree species in the forest canopy, and may delay the filling of canopy gaps."

And if that isn't enough to make you want to pull all the buckthorn in your yard or area forest, check out the economic impact these unwanted species have on our pocketbook.

• In Massachusetts alone, state agencies spent over half a million dollars in 2001 on the control of nonindigenous aquatic plants through cost share assistance and direct control efforts on state lands. This figure does not include extensive control efforts undertaken by municipalities and private landowners, lost revenue due to decreased recreational boating, fishing, and swimming opportunities, or documented decreases in property values due to infestations of neighboring lakes and ponds by aquatic macrophytes. Think of the size of Massachusetts and the dollars it cost to control some of the invasive plants. Now think of the size of Texas. Are you seeing dollars signs!?!

• Invading non-indigenous species in the United States cause major environmental damage, public health problems and cost the nation more than $122 billion per year; plants are responsible for $36.6 billion of this.

• From 1906 to 1991, just 79 non-indigenous species caused documented losses of $97 billion in harmful effects.

• Purple loosestrife now occurs in 48 states and costs $45 million per year in control and forage losses. 

• In the United States, a total of $100 million is invested annually in aquatic weed control. 

These statisics are staggering. If we all do our part; pull the buckthorn out of our yards, plant proper plants and trees, give our time, money and resources to help the environment, we can all make an impact. Please do your share.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. is an environmentally conscious company.  For assistance with your buckthorn removal, emerald ash borer control, black locust removal, tree of heaven removal, and all the other related bugs, pests, or invasive trees and plants that threaten the livelihood of our indigenous plants and trees, call Trees "R" Us, Inc.  You may contact us at, via the phone at 847-913-9069, or through email at Do your part, call your local tree service, like Trees "R" Us, Inc. to help control our invaders!

Trees "R" Us, Inc. provides environmentally conscious tree care to the north shore of chicago and its surrounding northwest suburbs.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Why is there buckthorn everywhere?

It's everywhere and taking over everything. It's strong. It's the first to sprout leaved int he spring and the last to lose it's leaves in the winter. It's thorny. It's everywhere. It's invasive and unwanted. It's buckthorn.

Buckthorn is one of many invasive species in Illinois. If you take a look around your local forest area, buckthorn is everywhere.

What is buckthorn:

Buckthorn is an invasive, non-native shrub or small tree that was introduced to North America during the late 1800’s. It used to be a popular choice for hedging. Yes, people actually wanted this ugly plant around! But, since the 1800s it has proliferated to virtually every corner of the state.

It's such a powerful plant that each buckthorn fruit produces 2-4 seeds that remain viable for up to six years! Birds eat these fruits and deposit the seeds everywhere. Because buckthorn tolerate shade, full-sun, drought and bad soil, it thrives just about anywhere.

Why is buckthorn bad:

Buckthorn is equivalent to the playground bully. It is detrimental to the health and future of our woodlands, prairies, wetlands and parks because is takes over large areas destroying wildlife habitat and food sources and out- competes other important native plants that we need for a stabile, healthy ecosystem. Both Common and Glossy Buckthorn are restricted noxious weeds. Buckthorn essentially suffocates all the plants, not letting them grow.

What can you do to get rid of buckthorn?
Well, that is a trick questions and is have a trick is both easy and hard to get rid of this beast. While Buckthorn is easy to identify, and when young it is easy to pull up by the roots in moist soils. But, if it is a more mature plant, the root system is already pretty large and EVERY bit of it MUST be removed completely or it can re-sprout for many years. Buckthorn sone of the last plants to lose its leaves in the fall. This is a great time to remove it. You know for sure you are removing only the buckthorn and making sure you get all of it easily. 

If you are not sure if you have buckthorn on your property, contact your local certified arborist. Trees "R" Us, Inc. provides tree maintenance and care, and our 4 certified arborists can help you identify not only the buckthorn, but all the invasive species that may be on our property. Trees "R" Us, Inc. is accustomed to removing invasive species, such as buckthorn and also offer a complete line of plant health care to prevent its return.

If you have a large infestation of Buckthorn on your property, consider removal a long term effort. It may involve a 5 year commitment on your part, or your contracted tree service, like Trees "R" Us, Inc. If you work diligently, each year the amount of Buckthorn will be reduced. The first two years are when you or your tree service will have the most work. If you have Buckthorn that measures 2.5" in diameter or less, you can rent or purchase a special tool called a weed wrench that will help you pull the plants out of the ground. It is best to use this tool when soils are moist. Or, you can always call your local tree service. Trees "R" Us, Inc. regularly removes buckthorn from properties and parks. We have worked extensively on Chicago's north shore in removing buckthorn. Our work on the north shore and the northwest suburbs of Chicago has led us to clear acres of land of its buckthorn allowing the oaks, maples and many other indiginous trees to survive and thrive.

Thanks for reading,

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

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Spring Time Healthy Tree Checklist

May is upon us and it is time to make sure our lawns and trees will be healthy for the upcoming season. 
Here are my top tips for May tree and garden care. 

During the month of May you should do the following to keep your trees, landscape and lawn healthy and lush all season long.

  • Activate sprinklers
  • Mulch around flower and shrub beds to conserve moisture and keep down weeds.  Organic Solutions, Inc. has the best mulch and prices in the Chicagoland area. They have a huge mulch sale going on right now which makes their prices even more affordable. They even offer organic mulch. Check out their website for more information.
  • Mow lawn 2″ to 2.5” and never cut more than one-third of the growth.
  • After May 20th, put out annuals and perennials.
  • Spray for Mountain Pine Beetle.
  • Spray for Ash Borer,
  • Contact your local tree service, like Trees "R" Us, Inc. for professional grade sprays and for a complete plant health care plan. 
  • Any questions or concerns about your trees' health should be directed to an arborist. Your local tree service should have an arborist on staff.  Trees "R" Us, Inc has 4 certified arborists on staff to address your concerns and questions about tree care.
Enjoy this beautiful season and all that it offers!