Abundant Tree Care is excited to assist you with all your Louisville tree care needs. Our team of specially trained arborists provides tree pruning, tree removal, and tree planting in the Louisville, Kentucky area. Contact us for an estimate! #LiveAbundantly
And just like that, it’s August. Vacations may be ending and school may be starting back up soon, but we know we are still nowhere near the end of the sweltering summer season here in the Ohio Valley.
Excessively hot weather is one of those threats with a danger that lies largely in its invisibility. The sun shines bright and it’s fun to don your favorite worn-out t-shirt and play in the dirt. But the overheated conditions have a big, potentially unhealthy, effect on you and your landscape. With the right awareness and prevention in mind, however, there’s really nothing to worry about.
FIRST, when it comes to plant and tree care …
Watering: The specifics in proper hydration can depend on the type of the tree and soil as well as age, but in general it’s best to water your trees less frequently and more deeply rather than numerous, shallow soaks. Think about your roots having a chance to soak it all up rather than giving it an opportunity to evaporate in the heat.
Mulching: Give your trees the benefits of oxygen & nutrient-rich soil they might be missing. Added plus: mulching reduces weeds which means you don’t have to pull them; mowing gets easier as you there’s suddenly no need to trim around the trunk.
Pruning: Prune to prevent and protect. With heat and humidity comes some crazy storms here. Read up on how you can practice tree pruning for protection against the wilder forces of nature.
Call a professional: Sometimes it’s best just to call in the experts. Inclement weather is a great excuse to get a little help and that’s what we’re here for. If you’re in the Louisville area, Abundant Tree Care can come by and customize a plan that’s best for the survive & thrive of your lawn including special fertilizers, insect prevention, disease management and much more.
SECOND, and more importantly, when it comes to caring for yourself…
Do your best to save any of your work for the cooler parts of the day. When you must be out there in the heat, be sure to wear light, breathable clothing and drink MORE than plenty of water.
Heatstroke is the most severe of consequences from prolonged heat exposure, but there are other significant hazards such as dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat cramps that could lead to much bigger problems. Exposure to high temps can also increase the risk of major injuries due to sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses, and dizziness.
Stay aware of heat stress symptoms which are similar to those of the flu. They can include:
*Headache *Fatigue *Dizziness *Nausea *Profuse sweating *Thirst *Vomiting *Diarrhea *Clammy or pale skin
*Rapid Pulse *Elevated body temperature *Muscle spasms (in the case of heat cramps)
If you begin to feel any one of these symptoms in any measure, it is extremely important to act quickly so that the problem does not evolve into something worse.
- Move to a shaded or air-conditioned area and sit or lie down
- Drink water or a sports drink like Gatorade
- Apply wet towels or take a cool shower
- Stretch affected muscles
- Seek medical attention if you do not feel better in an hour
Abundant Tree Care, along with countless other outdoor enthusiasts, has always proudly encouraged everyone to Plant More Trees! However, we are equally as fanatic about living safely and happily in our homes and neighborhoods; This just requires a little extra awareness in the locations of our planting.
When we’re excited about adding new trees to our landscape, we can often not think much about where we’re digging until that later moment when we find ourselves stumbling in the dark looking for candles and throwing out all the spoiled food from our lifeless fridge. And this is why we encourage you, as you plant more trees… Stay away from power lines!
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Trees that grow up near power lines bring up with them all sorts of big risks, and you’ll be creating extra, unnecessary, and dangerous work that’s simply not worth it. And aesthetically speaking, if a tree has to be pruned around lines, it will end up looking really awkward. (If you do have a perfect spot picked out near a power line and nothing else will do, there are some species that are more likely to be a safe bet. We’ve included a link to those at the bottom of this post).
If it’s too late for the warning and you are now seeking to care for your trees that have grown up around lines, please call your local qualified arborists who have special training and tools to get the job done safely. Without the proper tools and training, a person can easily be electrocuted, injured, or even killed, and you’ll be put at a major legal risk.
After a Storm
If you’ve experienced a bad storm, there are a few things to look out for. In addition to the obvious threat of downed power lines, alert your power company (and arborists) if you see trees that are leaning towards or have come into contact with power lines, have blown over near power lines.
Don’t assume you’re in the clear if you don’t see anything above ground. A lot of utility services run below ground and can be impacted by wide-spreading roots of trees. Before you plant, call your utility company and make sure you are aware of the existence and/or locations of any underground utilities in order to avoid serious injury or service interruption.
Finally, If you must plant in the proximity of a power line, the ultimate mature spread and height of the tree must fit within the available space beneath and beside the lines. Here are a few options.
Abundant Tree Care takes safety very seriously. Our arborists go through extensive training so that we can care for your landscape and homes at our absolute best. We offer assistance in planting, pruning, and general tree care. Contact us anytime with questions or to schedule a time for us to come by. We look forward to meeting you and helping care for your home.
We’ve already experienced a decent share of storms here in the Ohio Valley but as history shows us, we’re certainly in for more.
While we might feel helpless against the more aggressive whims of mother nature, there are precautions we can take in hopes of keeping our trees as steady as possible. In fact, FEMA says that three-fourths of the damage that trees incur during storms is predictable and preventable.
If you see a tree you believe to be too weak to stand up against the force, a propping system could be the solution. Otherwise, your local Louisville tree care professionals have a few tips for prepping your trees:
Protect by pruning properly. Say that 3 times fast.
A tree will react to the wind according to its distribution of leaves and branches. Essentially, wind forces seem to be more strenuous & destructive when the foliage is the heaviest. While our trees need rain to drink and grow, too much of it can loosen the soil around the tree and add weight to the leaves and limbs which further weakens the tree against the winds. And that’s not even getting into the damage hail can bring.
Improper pruning will only make your tree more vulnerable to damage. So we recommend either calling your local tree care professional or studying up on the best pruning methods. You’ll want to remove the dead, or nearly-dead, branches to help reduce resistance, including the outer third of the crown, while keeping as many around as you can for photosynthesis and protection. Avoid “Lion’s Tailing” which happens when an excessive amount of lower branches are thinned giving the tree a lion’s tail shape. The tree will then be top-heavy and more vulnerable to toppling over in heavy winds.
Mulch for Stronger Roots
It is important to protect the root system of the tree as well. A wide mulch ring around the base of the tree means that a lawn mower can’t accidentally damage what’s underneath. It also allows water and nutrients to drain down through the soil to the roots
Most of us have been told since childhood to stay away from trees when there’s a threat of lightning. Unfortunately, trees can’t really move out of harm’s way. Lightning protection systems may be a good investment. We’d be happy to help you find the right one.
We are continuing our focus on fighting those pesky diseases for the month of May. We’ve covered two of the biggest tree care threats: Dutch Elm Disease and Emerald Ash Borer. Now, we will highlight a few more enemies of the arborist and tree fan. We believe it’s important to stay ahead and on top of these pests in the fight to save our trees.
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This one gets its name from the scorched appearance of infected leaves, stems, and bark. It mainly affects apple and pear trees, attacking their blossoms in early spring and then moving up through the twigs and branches. You’ll notice blossoms turning brown, wilting, and dying in just about 1-2 weeks after infection. You might also see an amber-colored ooze coming from the bark (Gross, right?).
Fight it by performing a comprehensive cleanup around your trees when fall rolls around. Move all debris, fruit, and fallen leaves away from the tree and destroy them to prevent the bacteria from spreading. Fertilizers can be helpful but you’ll first want to perform a soil test, or simply contact your local tree care professional to make sure it’s properly selected and applied. Prune any infected branches and be sure to sterilize your pruning tools. Fight fire with fire when possible by burning and destroying affected limbs.
Forest Tent Caterpillar
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Small but deadly, the forest tent caterpillar’s larvae are voracious eaters. Their favorite feast involves sugar maples and poplars but they’ll also happily infect oaks, water tupelo and sweetgum in the coastal south, red alder and willow in the Northwest. They are known to defoliate extensive areas. These creepy crawlers produce one generation a year, appearing when leaves begin to unfold. The freshly hatched larvae will be black, hairy, and move in groups on twigs and the trunk. The destruction they leave behind includes a stripping of foliage from mid-Spring to early summer.
Fight it by using sprays and barriers; there are a variety available. Call us if you suspect your trees are under the influence.
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This one is an easy one to recognize as it appears as a white or gray powdery growth on leaves. Thankfully, it is usually not lethal but it can disfigure and limit the productivity of your plants and trees.
Fight it by planting in sunny sites, trimming inner branches in order to increase air circulation and limit the use of fertilizer. If the mildew has already claimed its place, prune and discard diseased portions and apply fungicide to the remaining leaves.
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Athracnose is actually a general term for a variety of fungal diseases that affect plants in similar ways. They typically cause dark sunken lesions on leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits, and can spread very quickly during rainy seasons.
Fight it by immediately removing and destroying any infected plants in your garden. When it comes to trees, prune out dead wood and destroy infected leaves. Certain fungicides can be utilized but we recommend having a professional out to help you choose the right one.
Again, if you notice any of these signs, don’t wait to call your local arborist. Some skillful tree pruning could slow down or even kill the progression of the disease. Even better, prevent the infestation from happening at all. Abundant Tree Care Louisville will come over and inject the proper pesticide or fungicide into the tree, providing excellent protection against these threats. In the unfortunate case that the damage is done, we’d be happy to come over and see if tree removal is necessary.
May is the month that your Louisville arborists are focused on managing diseases and the insects that carry them. In truth, it’s important to pay attention to preventing these carriers and their infections every month as sicknesses of the tree variety are fast and determinedly contagious.
In order to help you discover these destructive pests faster, we will be highlighting a few of the most threatening ones.
The two most prominent issues in the Louisville area, and beyond, are Dutch Elm Disease and the rapid decay caused by The Emerald Ash Borer. We can’t emphasize enough just how important it is that you contact your local arborist and tree care professionals before it’s too late.
Dutch Elm Disease
This disease is believed to be originally native to Asia. It was an unhappy accident that it found its way into America & Europe. True to its name, it sticks to devastating elm trees. The “Dutch” part of the name comes from its identification in 1921 by Dutch phytopathologists (New Word Alert! Phytopathology is the science of diagnosing and managing plant diseases). The disease involves a beetle but the real problem is the fungus it carries. It can turn your elm trees into dead elm trees in a very short amount of time and so it must be treated ASAP!
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Signs & Symptoms of Dutch Elm Disease
The first sign is typically an infection in the upper branch of the tree, spreading to the rest progressively. Eventually, roots will die as they are starved of nutrients from the leaves.
Look out for the yellowing and wilting of leaves which will eventually turn brown and curl up as branches die. If you peel back the bark of infected twigs or branches, brown discoloration is seen in the outer layer of wood.
For further visual guidance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzRuVWEx6Mg
Emerald Ash Borer
The EAB is a very small beetle that can cause very large damage to ash trees. Once the insect has taken hold, its contamination can spread quickly and cause trees to die at alarming rates. It was discovered near Detroit, Michigan in the summer of 2002. Since then its unpopular fame has spread to Ohio, Northern Indiana, Northern Illinois and so on (See http://www.emeraldashborer.info/ to follow along its path of destruction). Adult EABs nibble on ash foliage but actually cause little damage. It’s the babies who are the real problem. Larvae feed on the inner bark of the trees and disrupt the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients.
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Signs & Symptoms of EAB
The beetle itself is misleading in its beauty – typically bright, metallic, emerald green in color with variable amounts of brassy, coppery or reddish reflections. It comes from bell-shaped larvae and emerges from D-shaped holes.
Look out for…
Crown dieback – Trees begin to show dead branches throughout the canopy, beginning at the top
Random Sprouting – Stressed trees will attempt to grow new branches where they still can – possibly in previous dormant areas of the tree
Bark Splits – Looks exactly like it sounds… you’ll see vertical splits in the bark
Woodpecker Feeding: Woodpeckers like to feed on the larvae located under the bark – usually higher in the tree
For further visual guidance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwONMDCJkOc
If you notice any of these signs, don’t wait to call your local arborist. Some skillful tree pruning could slow down or even kill the progression of the disease. Even better, prevent the infestation from happening at all. Abundant Tree Care will come over and inject the proper pesticide or fungicide into the tree, providing excellent protection against these threats. In the unfortunate case that the damage is done, we’d be happy to come over and see if tree removal is necessary.