Living Abundantly: Fall Tree Care

For many of us, Fall + Trees provides the perfect simple recipe of our dreams the previous 9 months. From December to September, we eagerly anticipate the return of vibrant colors and falling leaves that signal the arrival of a favorite season. But like all seasons, Fall brings its own set of challenges and requirements in keeping those beautiful, treasured trees alive and thriving.

Louisville Tree Care - Fall Tree Care

Fall is a Prime Time to Plant

As the cooler weather sets in and the trees settle in for a break from all that reaching for the summer sun, conditions are perfect for stimulating root growth. And obviously, there’s less chance of stress from sun scorch, drought or extremely high temperatures. Early to Mid Fall is a great time to plant balled and burlapped trees and shrubs. Late Fall is best for bare root plants as they will be completely dormant.

Fall is for Fertilization

Yes, Fall is like February in that it’s a great time for Fertilization. This will help trees gain nutrients that were lost in in the summer and continue to feed over the winter. As we mentioned before, each tree is unique and requires its own set of particular macro and micronutrients. If this sounds overwhelming, we’d be happy to help you choose and apply the right food.

Fall is for Preparation

Louisville Tree Care - Fall Tree CareUnfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), the cool temps of Fall only continue their decline into sometimes damaging frost. Naturally, you’ll want to spend some of the season preparing for the harsher conditions. Mulching can help retain water and reduce the felt effects of temperature extremes in the soil. You’ll wanna be careful not to pile on too high, but a thin layer can act as a blanket and give the roots extra protection.

Go ahead and hydrate the trees while the air is cool but not freezing… this will give them something to drink on throughout the winter.If you have a young tree, you may want to wrap with burlap or plastic cloth to prevent temperature damage

Fall is for Pruning…kinda

Louisville Tree Care - Fall Tree Pruning

Finally, LATE Fall- is a great time to prune as trees are dormant and after the leaves have gone, it is much easier to clearly see the tree structure. (Early Fall is the time in the life of the tree when energy is being redirected to the roots and trunk to store for next years spring bud break so there won’t be any extra for healing pruning wounds.) Of course, make sure you know proper pruning techniques to avoid serious damage. We’ve got plenty more pruning tips here, here, here

As always, your Abundant Tree Care team is available and happy to help you with planting, pruning, protecting or anything else you need in caring for your trees and plants.

Are your tree leaves changing color too soon? That could mean your tree is stressed and needs your help. Girdling roots, disease, or insect issues could be leading to a thinning of the canopy prematurely. If you notice this or any other concerning abnormality, call us quickly before any further damage settles in or has a chance to spread.  We’ll come to you and diagnose.

Abundant Tree Care Can Help!

Abundant Tree Care is here to assist you in tree planting, tree pruning, tree removal and every bit of care in-between. We are pleased to share this short video with you highlighting our services and our dedication to our clients and their trees. #LiveAbundantly

Plant More Trees… Far Away from Power Lines

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. 

Underground 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.

Louisville Tree Care – Preparing for Summer Storms

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:

Proper Pruning

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

Lightning Protection

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.

Louisville Tree Care: More on Managing Disease in May

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.

Fire Blight
Fire Blight, Abundant Tree Care Louisville

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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
Forest Tent Caterpillar, Abundant Tree Care Louisville

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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.

Powdery Mildew
Powdery Mildew, Abundant Tree Care Louisville

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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.

 Athracnose
Athracnose, Abundant Tree Care Louisville

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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.

Louisville Tree Care – May is for Managing Disease

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!

Dutch Elm Disease. Abundant Louisville Tree Care

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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.

Abundant Louisville Tree Care - Emerald Ash Borer

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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.