Emerald ash borer
NOTICE: NOW confirmed in Johnson County, Kan.
Posted: July 15/this YEAR!
If you missed or even watched some breaking news on a local news channel news channel, you know…
Healthy trees are an important asset to your property. During the warm, summer months, they provide you with nice, cool shade. The birds use them to create their homes. Not to mention trees can also increase property values. To help you learn how to care for your trees, continue reading.
There are a number of things that you can do to encourage healthy trees that last for a long time. However, there are also a number of things that you should avoid. If you are ever unsure of what to do, you can always call a tree specialist and see what they recommend for your specific tree.
Whatever you do, don’t top your tree. Topping is one example of removing all of the large branches from trees that are mature. Trees that are topped are often disfigured. Even though you might think you are helping the tree, you are actually doing quite the opposite.
When you take a significant portion of the tree’s canopy, you create an imbalance in the root to canopy ratio, which is going to impact the nutrition of the tree in a negative manner. It will also end up exposing the tree to the harsh sun, which is going to cause scalding. Most of the time, topped trees will end up developing suckers close to the pruning cut. Generally, these branches end up being attached with a weak branch that is doomed to fail.
Trees that have been topped are also susceptible to diseases. The stubs that remain behind have a hard time being able to form a protective callus. In the end, an invasion of insects and fungi set in and the tree becomes infested. Topping location cuts can also prevent the natural defense system of the tree from being able to properly do its job.
In addition, topping your trees is an expense that you can avoid. Topped trees end up back at their original height rather quickly. They end up being denser than those that are properly pruned. Some of the other costs are actually hidden like losing property value, while trees that are maintained properly will actually increase the value of your home. You also have to worry about any branches that became weak from your topping the tree.
Trees need a certain amount of elements to help them grow and function. By fertilizing a tree, you can help to increase its overall growth, reverse a declining health and reduce susceptibility to various pests and diseases. Make sure you are doing your part to water your tree and protect it from damage and disease that can be avoided if you only take the time and effort to do your part.
You should think of your trees as being an investment in your property. Healthy trees will increase in value as they age. Not only will they increase the value of your home, but they will beautify your surroundings, save you energy by providing you with shade during the warm summer months, purify the air and protect you from the harsh winds in the winter.
By providing your landscaping with a preventative care program, you are essentially putting money back in the bank. Regular maintenance is designed to promote the health of your plants and restore their vigor, thus, ensuring their value is only going to continue growing. Preventing problems will end up costing you a lot less money and time than what it will to try and correct one that has already developed.
Effective maintenance programs, such as regular inspections and all of the necessary follow-up care such as fertilizing, pruning and mulching, can help to detect any problems and correct them before they have the chance to damage the tree. When you consider that there are a number of different tree species that can live upwards of 200-300 years, you want to do everything you can to protect your landscaping. The investment is going to provide you with value and enjoyment for years to come.
Inspecting the tree is an important tool to bringing attention to any changes in the health of the tree before the issue becomes too severe. By having a regular inspection of any mature trees at least once per year, you can help to reduce or prevent any severe future diseases, environmental issues and inset problems. During the inspection, make sure to have the four characteristics of vigor examined: twig growth, new leaves or new leaf buds, absence of any crown dieback and leaf size.
If you notice there aren’t as many new shoots, you can safely assume that the health of the tree has changed recently. To help evaluate this factor, you need to compare the growth of any shoots for the past three years. Try to determine if there is a reduction in the growth pattern of the tree.
Other signs to look for that indicate poor health are crown dieback, trunk decay or both. These symptoms are often indicative of a problem that began a few years ago. Deformed growths and loose bark are other signs that there is decay in the tree.
If there are any abnormalities found at one of your inspections, you want to monitor them closely. Dead leaves, spots, deformities, discolored leaves and dead twigs are all things that you need to pay attention to and make sure the problem doesn’t continue to get worse as the days go by.
The symptoms and signs of an infested ash tree with emerald ash are similar to those symptoms that are caused by other pests and diseases. As an example, crown dieback can occur from emerald ash damage, but they can also be brought on by soil compaction, drought stress or verticillium wilt, to name a few. Because of this, it is imperative that a combination of a couple of symptoms is identified when trying to find out whether you truly do have emerald ash borer in your trees. If you see at least two of the symptoms listed below, you might have a severe problem.
Dieback of the outer and upper part of the crown will often begin after years of emerald ash feeding. Trees begin showing dead branches in the canopy area, starting toward the top. When larval feeds on the tree, it ends up disrupting the flow of nutrients and water into the upper part of the canopy, which results in leaf loss. Leaves at the top are discolored and thin.
Vertical splits are often the result of callus tissue developing around the galleries, which are often found beneath the splits.
If the trees are sick or stressed, they will attempt to grow out new branches and leaves wherever they are able. Trees could end up with new growth at the bottom of the tree and the trunk, often below the point where the larvae are feeding. Branches end up growing along the trunk just a few feet off the ground.
Woodpeckers will eat the emerald ash living underneath of the bark. This often occurs higher in the tree where the borers like to attack first. If there are a lot of the larvae living underneath of the bark, woodpeckers can end up damaging the tree and making it appear as if a large amount of bark has been stripped from the tree, which is referred to as flecking.
Larvae are often cream in color, slightly flat and have pincher appendages along the end part of their abdomens. By the time they are fully grown, they are about 1.5 inches in length. They are commonly found feeding beneath the bark of the tree. Once these beetles are adults, they are a metallic green in color and about the size of a piece of cooked rice. An adult beetle is flat on their back and their undersides are rounded.
Regardless of whether you are dealing with the start of an infestation or a full-blown infestation, you need someone who is trained to come out and get rid of these pests for you in a timely fashion to avoid damaging all of your other trees.
Paul Weaver is an arborist for Tree Doctor Kc, is just sick to his stomach.
There is really no reason to cut trees this severely: paul weaver explains.
Paul was invited to attend the informal meeting of residents and business
owners who want to shed light on their tree problem
in the 39th and Volker neighborhood.