Friday, August 28, 2015

August is Tree Check Month. Do You Know What to Check For?

August is Tree Check month.

As the month draws to a close, we want to make sure you've taken the appropriate measures to make sure your trees are healthy, free from life-threatening bugs and also won't pose a hazard during the coming months.

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and Asian Longhorn Beetle (ALB)

EAB and ALB are 2 very real and invasive species that will kill your tree is left untreated.

Emerald Ash Borer

An Adult Emerald Ash Borer 
Emerald Ash Borer was discovered here in 2002. Scientists have been researching EAB for 15 years and have learned that there are ways to protect trees from EAB. We've taken this research and learned along side scientists so we know how to effectively deal with EAB. We are here to answer your questions and to provide you with the most current information on insecticide options for controlling EAB. Need a tree inspection or a treatment plan? We are the right choice for your EAB needs. If you are local to Chicagoland, contact Trees "R" Us, Inc. via our website or phone at 847-913-9069.

Asian Longhorn Beetle

Another real threat to your trees is Asian Longhorn Beetle.

An Asian Longhorn Beetle
ALB came to us from China where these pests were known to kill hardwood trees in their plantations. Coming to us through trade at ports, ALB is a force to reckoned with throughout the United States now. These beetles tunnel through the tree until eventually the tree's stems and branches are girdled by the beetle's movement. Eventually attacks by ALB will lead to crown dieback and over time, the death of the tree. ALB attacks maple trees, birch trees, Ohio Buckeyes, Elm trees and Horse Chestnut trees. This is the perfect time to make sure your trees aren't suffering from an infestation of Asian Longhorn Beetles or other pests. ALB is an especially deadly pest to our trees, so be on the look-out!

Here in Illinois, they love our maple trees.
Think you have an ALB problem? Give us a call!

Does your tree need Cabling or Bracing?

Another important inspection for your tree has nothing to do with pests and disease, but its structure instead.

A tree's structure is very important to health and safety of the tree. Have you had regular maintenance on your trees and shrubs? If not, it is likely that there are limbs that need to trimmed or other shrubs that need to be pruned. Many times, what we find is that the tree has not had proper maintenance and as a result have limbs that are weakened, or the growth pattern is not strong, or the entire tree is leaning. Many times, trimming the tree is not the answer. Cabling or bracing

the tree is the only thing that will help it restore normal growing patterns. Without cabling or bracing, this type of tree is considered a hazard as storms can rip off limbs and branches easily in addition to making the tree fall.

If the tree is aging, it is even more important to have it inspected. Aging trees and trees that are susceptible to breaks or failure can be preserved and strengthened through proper tree cabling and bracing. Cabling and bracing can and also prevent an emergency tree removal from a powerful storm. Our cabling and bracing is overseen by one of our Certified Arborists to ensure you get the most professional service possible.

Tree Removal

In some cases, due to EAB, ALB or improper tree care, there is no choice other than tree removal.

Fall is a great time for tree removal and to make sure your trees don't have any hazardous limbs or bug infestations. You definitely want to make sure you've taken the measure to, at the very least, get your trees inspected for hazards and infestations now before the winter months hit. Unfortunately we know what lies ahead...snow and ice. When these pile up on weak limbs it could mean disaster. Prevention is the best medicine here. Get your trees assessed by Trees "R" Us, Inc. and rest assured you and your trees will be ready for whatever Mother Nature has in store for us!

Out on a limb for you,

Jenni Willis

President and CEO




Friday, August 21, 2015

Storms that cause tree damage need tree inspections


We've had our fair share of them this summer. We are still getting calls for tree removals from the last round of storms from Late July/Early August.

Are you also in need of tree removal?

Or maybe just a tree inspection to see if your tree can withstand the next round of storms? 

If it has already been damaged or weakened in any way, it should be inspected by a certified Arborist to ensure it doesn't pose a hazard to you, those around you or your property.

We are on the scene doing tornado clean up in Grayslake. 
We always respond to emergency tree care calls especially after storms. 
Don't try this work on your own. 
It's dangerous and we have the right training, 
tools and equipment that makes 
the job safer and easier.

In most cases trees are considered hazardous when limbs are weakened either through previous damage, most likely from storms or pests. 

Most damage to a property during severe weather occurs when limbs or entire trees fall. It in not uncommon for summer storms to bring with them lots of rain and strong winds. These two conditions combined can be detrimental to trees, High winds and saturated soils can cause tree roots to fail and branches to weaken. Although your trees grow and become stronger in the summer, they are also very much at risk. Winter is no different. During winter, the weight of ice and snow accumulation can be equally damaging, resulting in failure of branches and/or entire trees.

It is important that you take the time to contact a profession tree service with certified Arborists on staff to identify potentially hazardous conditions and to help reduce the risk of damage BEFORE harsh weather occurs.

Why do you need a professional tree service to inspect your trees?

Tree Inspections

Even if damage is not apparent in your trees, they should be carefully inspected by an ISA Certified Arborist for subtle defects such as cracked branches, splits in stems and shifting of the root plate. Tree hazards are not always obvious to the untrained eye. Not to mention that correcting them can be a dangerous job. These defects can lead to branch or even whole tree failures in the future. Truth be told, it is next to impossible to completely protect your trees and property from severe storms, however, by taking the proper steps to ensure your trees are safe, you've eliminated much of the risk. Certified arborists are trained to do just this: they inspect for issues that can predispose trees to failure. Many times the Arborist will climb the tree to get a closer look and that is certainly a job that should only be left to someone with the proper training in safety as well as tree care. A Certified Arborist can also assess severely storm-damaged trees and develop recommendations for remedial treatments or advise as to the need for removal.
A thank you to Heather Ridge Golf Course in Gurnee
for hiring us to take care of
their storm clean up after Sunday's tornado.

Based on what the Arborist finds through his assessment, he or she will recommend a plant health care plan that will help your trees and shrubs stay strong and healthy, as well as endure whatever Mother Nature has in store for us.

What is Plant Health Care?

Plant Health Care Before and After Storms

Plants and trees weakened by storms may have already been under stress from various environmental factors over the last few years. Wounds created by the storm add stress to plants and they are more readily invaded by insect borers and disease-causing organisms. Plants should be inspected through the growing season for evidence of these “secondary invaders” and treatments applies as necessary to reduce damage. Fertilization and other amendments, applied based on soil analysis, will aid recovery. Irrigation and proper mulching of storm-damaged trees are important when dry weather returns.

Some of the treatments an Arborist may recommend after an assessment are installing cables or braces, pruning lightning protection, or even tree sprays in bugs are present as they can easily weaken the structure of your trees.

Leaning Trees

Trees less than 20 feet in height that now lean may require staking or guying. Larger trees usually can not and should not be guyed. These trees should be inspected by a Certified Arborist to determine if the root plate may have shifted. Trees with guys or stakes should be inspected periodically during the year to ensure that wires, ropes or cables used to support the tree do not girdle the stem. Guys and stakes usually are removed after one growing season, but may need to remain longer in some cases.

Structural Support Cables

Trees that were damaged in a storm may develop structural weaknesses that will predispose them to future storm damage. Crown reduction or thinning may be needed to reduce the potential for future damage. Steel support cables and brace rods also can be installed in branches to reduce the risk of failure.


Broken, hanging branches and branch stubs, resulting from breakage, require removal. Proper pruning techniques are critical to avoid insect and disease infestations later in the growing season. Trees and shrubs that have lost significant portions of their crown in the storm may require crown renovation. This form of pruning can begin now, but must be continued over a period of years to restructure a desirable, healthy crown.

Storms from the last few days were quick but left their mark. 
When you have tree damage from storms, 
Trees "R" Us, Inc. will get the job done right for you 
safely and quickly.
Unfortunately in our industry, there are quite a few tree services that do not have the right experience. They should not be handing out advice about tree care. Period. Here are a few 'red flags' when it comes to hiring a tree service to do the job.

Tree Service Advice NOT to take

Do not top your trees! Ever.

If the tree service you've hired to inspect your trees comes back to you with the recommendation to top your trees, fire them. Seriously. This is not a solution to anything. Tree topping leads to problems later in the life of the tree and is prohibited by industry standards. Tree topping should never be used to prevent storm damage.

Additionally, we recommend you are home during the tree inspection and watch the crew or Arborist in action. If you notice that anyone is using climbing spikes, do not hire them for any tree work. Using climbing spikes create wounds in trees that open the tree up to insect and disease infestations. It's a bad practice and a professional tree service will know that.

Also be caution of an Arborist or tree service that jumps to tree removal as the only solution. In some cases, yes, tree removal is the only solution, but many times there are other options that will save the tree. However, these options take training to perform. Professionals in the industry will know how to do them, unqualified tree services will take the easy way out and just remove the tree. It's a quick and easy solution for them, but for you that means you'll not only be losing a tree, but also losing property value, shade, curb appeal, etc. Tree removal should only be an option when high-risk conditions exist that cannot be effectively mitigated.

If your trees were damaged from the storm, we can help.
We are experts at emergency tree removal and storm clean up.
Keep you, your family and property safe by making sure your trees are not a hazard.
Even if you routinely care for your trees, when a severe storm hits, be sure to have an arborist review your property for any issues resulting from the weather.

Hope you all have been safe out there. Lots of tornado damage in our area. We've been called to help clean up the...
Posted by Trees R Us, Inc on Monday, August 3, 2015

Out on a Limb for You,
Jenni Willis
President and CEO
Trees "R" Us, Inc.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Privacy settings. And, NO, I'm not talking about Facebook

The Living Fence

Leyland Cypress Trees as a Living Fence
Privacy. Do you have it? Do you want it? I'm not talking about the online type of privacy. The type you need to be concerned about with Facebook and your online banking. I'm talking about real-life privacy in your yard. Tangible types of privacy. Do you have it?

Everybody wants it. Privacy. Privacy fences. Privacy walls. Privacy trees and shrubs. Privacy fences made from nature are becoming more and more popular, but the common question remains; how do I get privacy through nature quickly? I want privacy and I want it now. I don't want to wait 10 years for my trees to grow 10 feet. Understandable. Well, there's good news. You CAN have a natural privacy fence and you won't have to wait years and years for it to actually provide you with what you wanted in the first place...privacy. 

I encourage you to plant living fences!

Better than a traditional white picket fence, or standard wood plank fence, a line of evergreen trees or shrubs can provide year-round seclusion even better! Generally, as an added bonus there are no municipal restrictions on how high they can grow whereas most towns usually require permits for a fence over 6 feet tall. And if anyone out there has ever delt with the permit department of their village, well, then you know how great it is to never have to ask for a permit!
Thuja Green Giant used as a Privacy Fence

Things to consider before you plant your living fence: 

Power lines. 

Are there power lines above where you are going to plant? You don't want trees so big that they'll grow into the wires. 

Planting space. 

Also pay attention to the width at maturity of the trees you'll be planting. The spacing between trunks when you plant should equal mature width. While the ideal growing conditions vary by species, one thing all these evergreens have in common is a love of the sun. Give them at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day and their foliage will remain full and keep your privacy intact. 

Privacy fences, hedges, trees or shrubs not only keep eyeballs of your property, but because everybody wants one, they'll quickly add value to your property. By adding a living privacy fence you'll be adding even more value to your property. Why? Because living privacy fences also block
Quick Growing Evergreens Make
the Perfect Privacy Barrier
 lights from street lamps and traffic. They reduce noise pollution. They also act as a wind barrier and protect your home and other plants against the high winds that come with many summer and winter storms. Speaking of winter storms, living privacy barriers act as snow fences and reduce the amount of snow from blowing winds. Not to mention that these fences will also keep the neighbor's junk out of sight! So you can live in your own peaceful sanctuary even when a few yards away is a unkempt mess! Out of sight...out of mind!

So, what is the best tree to plant in order to get privacy quickly? 


Many grow quickly, many grow very tall, and many can acclimate to many different soil conditions and climates. 
Evergreens are also great for reducing noise, reducing snow, and screening all year long. And remember, plant an evergreen screen on the north side of your house to block winter winds. On the other hand, deciduous trees, although they offer a wider variety of landscaping elements including spring flowers or fall colors, they do not provide a year round screen and therefore are not your best bet for privacy.

Our favorite choices for fast growing evergreens are the Leyland Cypress or a Thuja Green Giant. Both grow quickly and are huge privacy trees often used as fences. Leylands will work best in hotter climates and coastal areas and Thujas can tolerate the snow of the colder climates.

Other popular evergreen choices that will work well as privacy fences include:

American Arborvitae which is a popular tree hedge that can grow 40' to 60' tall!
Green Giant Arborvitae is another popular fast growing hedge that can grow up to 60' tall! Arborvitae 'Green Giant' can climb 3 feet in one year.

Some popular evergreen shrub hedges include the:

Emerald Arborvitae that can grow to 10' to 15', but can easily be trimmed shorter.
Nigra Arborvitae is another popular choice which can grow to 20' to 30', but takes pruning well so it
A Lilac Hedge is a Popular Privacy Choice, but it won't
Provide Privacy in Winter Months
can be trimmed shorter.

And finally some popular deciduous shrubs choices are:

The Rose of Sharon which is a great flowing hedge, but it is seasonal and won't provide winter privacy.
North Privet is another that is a fast growing shrub that is suitable for many yards.

The fall planting season is around the corner. Which one will you pick?

Remember, Trees "R" Us, Inc. can help you pick the right tree and plant it in the right location. Our Plant Health Care Department can help you keep your trees healthy for years to come.

Out on a Limb for You,

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

Friday, August 7, 2015

Tornado Damage is No Match for Trees "R" Us, Inc.

It's hard to believe that an actual tornado that touched down in Northern Illinois went under the radar, not being noticed until it was on the ground! 

It's true! Read the article here: Lake County Tornado Is Missed On Radar

Did you notice that Trees "R" Us, Inc. is featured in the article? 

They caught us on the scene in Grayslake. Make sure you scroll through the pictures of the storm damage to see us in action. This is our very own dedicated Marshall and his crew hard at work.

Apparently low lying clouds are to blame for the lack of notice. In fact, reports say that the tornado was on the ground ripping though neighborhoods before any tornado sirens were being heard. Not even doppler radar showed the twister. It was reports from 911 calls about an apparent tornado that alerted the National Weather Service that something was amiss. It's been a crazy few days here in Illinois with lots of strong storms. We hope you all are safe.

Our area in Northern Illinois has seen lots of tornado damage. 

One of the places we've been called to help clean up is the Heather Ridge Golf Course in Gurnee after a tornado swept through and caused trees and large limbs to fall.

Need Help with Storm Clean Up or Emergency Tree Removal. Give Trees "R" Us, Inc. a call for fast, reliable and honest service. Trees "R" Us, Inc. Tree Service for the Chicagoland Area.

It seems that Round Lake, Gurney and Grayslake were hit the hardest and we are were on the scene in all those communities picking up tree debris and fixing emergency situations.

Responding to emergency tree care calls in a timely manner is essential in our industry. 

We always respond immediately to emergency tree care calls especially after storms. Don't try this work on your own. It's dangerous and we have the right training, tools and equipment that makes the job safer and easier.

A thank you goes out to all those who used our tree services during this last round of bad weather. 

Your trust in us means the world to us. We take pride in building relationships with municipalities, residential homeowners and commercial building owners that are based on trust and honesty. A special thank you to Heather Ridge Golf Course in Gurnee for hiring us to take care of their storm clean up after Sunday's tornado and to the village of Grayslake for contracting with us for their storm clean up as well. 

When the next storm hits, whether it be with winds and rain, or snow and ice, remember you can trust your trees to Trees "R" Us, Inc. We work year round and round the clock if needed. Contact us at or by phone at 847-913-9069.

Hope you all have been safe out there. Lots of tornado damage in our area. We've been called to help clean up the...
Posted by Trees R Us, Inc on Monday, August 3, 2015