It is finally Spring and the leaves are finally coming out but… wait… why are my leaves falling off. It could be a common leaf disease called anthracnose. The disease is actually a fungi. No not a fun guy. A fungus. It is carried through the main leaf vein on deciduous trees. The disease produces a distinct fungal spot on the leaves and eventually the leaves fall off.
Anthracnose spreads when infected, dead leaves are left on the ground. During cold and wet springs, spores develop and are spread by the wind and splashing rain.
Managing a trees health is important for preventing and treating for anthracnose. While you can help by making sure infected leaves are cleaned up, an evaluation should be done by an arborist. Treatment plans are available through Tree Vitals by Selner Tree & Shrub Care. Please call our office for more information.
This time of year, many people wonder how they should be preparing their yards for winter. We suggest attending to new plantings, preparing evergreens, be aware of winter burn, and protect any trees, shrubs, or plants that might be subject to animal feasting.
Melissa Spreading Mulch
New plantings are most susceptible to winter desiccation because they don’t have established root systems. Continue to water these new plantings through fall. Watering can be done until frost and is strongly encouraged for new plantings and evergreens. People often overlook the fact that trees and shrubs still transpire (although slowly) through winter. Roots still grow in unfrozen soil, so it is important to tend to them until frost takes over.
Evergreens have foliage to support and therefore are also very susceptible to winter burn. Damage is not directly caused by how cold it gets, but rather how quickly the cold comes. Rapid 40 degree swings from day to night can cause the most damage. Photosynthesis and respiration still take place in winter on sunny days through needles and bark, which requires soil moisture. When there is little snow cover, the soil freezes to deeper levels, limiting moisture uptake. Deep snow is more beneficial because it insulates the roots and provides moisture when it melts. Mulch helps insulate the roots as well. We recommend three inches of mulch around trees, but take care to keep the mulch away from the trunk itself. Little snow and excessive dry wind make for the harshest of winters for these trees.
Winter burn is the result of plants drying out over winter, but there are other types of damage. Growth that has not hardened off can easily be damaged by early frosts. Buds can be injured during late frosts, causing tattered looking leaves in the spring and early summer. De-icing salt can damage plants along sidewalks and roads. They can dry aerial parts of the plant in the winter, but cause continuing problems later. The residual salt in the soil concentrates when the water table drops during mid-summer droughts. If you know of an area in your yard that routinely gets a good amount of salt indirectly applied to it, a little extra watering in the spring will help. You may also want to consider applying some garden gypsum to help break it up.
As animals run out of easily accessible food, they may turn to your trees and shrubs. It is best to fence off areas to deter wildlife from browsing. Also, deep snowbanks can create the perfect cover for rodents to girdle stems. If you can help it, don’t pile up shoveled snow in one area.
We never really know what winter will have in store for us. These tips should give you some ideas of what you can do to prepare your yard for whatever might be coming.
Melissa treating for Apple Scab at the Selner Tree Shrub Care office
There is a certain stigma associated with tree workers: strong, bearded, rough and tumble, and in general, not dainty.A lot of our clients are surprised to find that when the crew arrives on site, that we usually have at least one woman on the crew.Folks usually associate tree work with men, and why wouldn’t they? Trees are heavy. Believe me, I’ve tenderized my back lifting many pieces of trees, and I’m no tiny person.Selner Tree & Shrub Care, LLC employs three full time female arborists.They are full time employees, and are some of our most valuable employees on staff.
Let’s spearhead the obvious reason most folks are shocked to find a female on the crew: strength.Forgive me for the generalization, but it’s no secret that women just aren’t built the same as men.Although there are a few anomalies, women aren’t usually as strong as men when it comes to lifting heavy things.These ‘things’ in the tree care industry include: their own body weight, heavy pieces of wood, tree branches, and even certain pieces of rigging gear.
The beauty of working for an advanced tree care company in the 21st century is the fact that many of the heavy things that need lifting daily, are often lifted using equipment that is built specifically to do so.It’s for this reason that there is no need to be built like an ox to be a valuable employee in the tree care industry.A careful and dainty touch is often required more so than brute force.When we are removing a tree over a glass sunroom surrounded by landscape beds full of tender perennials, I’ll opt for a softer hand over a bull in a china shop any day.
Many of our clients are often shocked to hear that most of our female employees also climb.You heard that right, girls! You can be a professional tree climber too!I still remember the first time I watched a woman climb a tree professionally.It was about five years ago at an international tree climbing championship.I’m not going to lie (honesty is the best policy), that I was skeptical about how the female competitors would stack up to their male counterparts.After the first female competitor ascended and started through the work climb, I was shocked.She was absolutely crushing it.She made many of the male climbers I knew look like silly fish flopping around aimlessly in a tree.This same feeling was reassured again just a couple weeks ago when I competed in my first tree climbing competition.I always thought I was an above average tree climber, but the few women that were at that same competition made me look like a toddler just learning to walk.
As a man in the tree care industry, I have no doubt that women can be just as, if not more, valuable than most men doing the same exact job.
As of Monday, January 30th 2017, the crews have finished pruning 183 village-owned street trees. Go ahead, applaud. I’ll wait.
This is the second pruning project we have been a part of for the Village of Ashwaubenon. The first project was completed in June of 2016. The pruning of village-owned trees is just as important as pruning privately owned trees (if not more so).. Have you ever witnessed a tree branch taking a ride on top of a garbage truck? This is one of the main reasons why we prune these street trees. Although the garbage truck did effectively “prune” the limb off the tree, this is not ideal for the tree or the truck. Street trees need to be pruned properly to provide clearance for larger vehicles on the street side and to provide ample head room on the residential side. While our arborists are up in the trees, they take a little extra time to remove any larger deadwood as well as any branches that may be crossing or rubbing on one another. This is better for the overall health of the tree, and also allows the arborist to move around the entire canopy. This also lets the arborist see any parts of the tree that are (or could become) threats for any people on the street, sidewalk, or lawn areas below.
Along with the obvious vehicles driving down the city streets, our crews had to work around many obstacles. Some of the things we encountered on a daily basis were: mailboxes, our own chipper and truck, street lights, and signs. All of these things need to have ample clearance so they can be most useful to village residents. One of the largest obstacles of this year’s project was quite simply: weather. With the April showers in January, we did lose a lot of snow, but rain can turn a lichen-covered Norway Maple or Green Ash into a very slippery situation. It’s for this reason that we had to completely cancel pruning the street trees for four of the eleven total days we had originally scheduled to complete the job.
With all the weather-related setbacks, it seemed that completing the project would be a little tougher than we imagined. However, the crew seemed to look at the time-crunch as a sort of challenge and, with a little extra work and a couple of late days, we made up the extra four days without trouble. Looking back on the project and all that we’ve accomplished, it’s hard to ignore everything that was done to keep us on track despite the challenges and setbacks we encountered. I’d like to thank every one of the crew members that had a hand in getting the project completed to Selner Tree & Shrub Care LLC.’s standards. Thank you Casey, Matt, Phil, Aree, and Skye for putting in the extra effort to make sure everything was completed on time in a professional manner regardless of what the weather had in store for us.
All the trees for Part 1 of the contract are now completed and won’t need much attention for the next 8-10 years or so. Yup, you read that correctly. I wrote “Part 1.” Which might make you wonder, “Does this mean there is a Part 2?” That’s exactly what it means. For the second part of the pruning contract, we have 299 trees to prune, inspect, and clean up for the Village of Ashwaubenon. If you happen to see our crews out working on the street trees in 2017, feel free to wave and say “Hi!”
“We are failing our ecosystem.” We hear this statement all of the time. We hear about things like Global Climate Destabilization, plastic islands in the ocean, and mass species extinction. We are told to recycle, drive less, and use less water. So, we try. Recycling is becoming second nature; the bins are everywhere. We bike and walk more and we use water-efficient showerheads and toilets, but what if I told you there was something just as important as all of those things that can help us make a difference? Most of us have a yard with lawn and plants. What if I told you that what you planted in your yard could help our world recover?Our once flourishing and productive ecosystems are being taken over by lawn and agricultural fields. Most of what we plant in our yards tends to be exotic species that have not evolved to function in our eco system. What is worse, many are becoming wildly invasive, taking over what little free forest we have left. These exotic species do not feed wildlife such as birds, butterflies, and bees (five species of which have just been put on the endangered species list). How are they to survive when we take more and more of their home and turn it into grass? We often use vast amounts of pesticides and fertilizers on our lawn. How much time per week do you actually spend on it? We mow our lawn, expelling carbon dioxide, and use mass quantities of water to make it grow, just to mow it all over again.
We can help put a stop to all of this! Take some time and put a little research into what is native to your area. Stop planting things such as buckthorn, barberry, and Japanese Honeysuckle. Instead, plant viburnums, American hazelnut, or witch-hazel. By planting native species of trees, shrubs, and flowers we can help save our environment. Native plants, which are adapted to our eco system, require watering only in times of severe drought, which saves you time and money. They feed wildlife, which preserves necessary species and promotes biodiversity. Finally, incorporating more native plants creates a beautiful landscape free of maintenance and helps limit excessive mowing and use of chemicals.