Emerald ash borer adults are very small, metallic green beetles. Only 3/8 - 1/2 inch long and 1/16 inch wide. This beetle kills ash trees only. The green and black ash trees are preferred. White ash is also killed quickly, but usually only after green and black ash trees have been eliminated.
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Experts say now is the time to get trees ready for colder months ahead
By LYNDA ZIMMER Zimmer@news-gezette.com
Trim, bolster and water your trees.
That's what area tree experts say you should do before winter hits.
Do not automatically fertilize a tree. It needs its nutrients analyzed first.
"Trimming is very important for going into fall and winter" says Ryan Burnett of Buds Tree Care in Tuscola. "Trim even small branches that lay across houses. That gives you relief from storms and ice."
He recommends cabling for tree owners who are worried about big limbs that might break during winter weather.
Cables restrict the distance a branch can move related to the rest of the tree. They also can be installed across weak tree crotches to reduce the likelihood of branches breaking.
"Cables can prevent tree branches from crashing into your house," Burnett said.
The method can also prolong the lives of Bradford or Callery pear trees.
"After 30 years, they start splitting apart," he said. "They have a lot of weight on the end (of their branches). Thinning them out and adding cables can add 15 years to their life."
Because of the dry summer, both Burnett and Sandra Mason - educator for horticulture and environment for the University of Illinois Extension in Champaign County - recommend deep watering trees before the ground freezes.
"Trees need to be properly watered going into winter, even if there are no leaves on them," Mason said. "Give them a deep soaking 1 inch (of water) every two weeks through November on deciduous trees."
"Watering is particularly important with evergreens and broad leaf plants such as boxwood and rhododendron until the ground freezes," she said. "Pay particular attention to anything young, anything planted in the last three to five years."
"Mulch if you want to," Mason said. "It keeps the moisture in."
For mulching, Mason recommends organic mulch such as wood chips. She likes the mulch available at the Landscape Recycling Center, 1210 E. University Ave.,U.
"It's chipped local and we've been happy with it; it's not filled with garbage," she said.
"Don't overmulch," Mason added. "People tend to do the volcano thing (piling mulch up in a high cone-shaped configuration against tree bark), but the mulch shouldn't be touching the trunk and should be no higher than four inches. Any more than that and the trunk can get rot."
The International Society of Arboriculture futher recommends; if the tree site is not well drained, use less than 2 inches of mulch; spread mulch out to the tree's drip line or beyond if possible; be aware that some plants may benefit from the use of a slightly acidifying mulch such as pine bark; and be sure organic mulches are well aerated and composted to avoid sour smells.
Not all trees need fertilizer in fall.
The ISA recommends that when a tree is not thriving or is showing signs of distress, the best thing an owner can do is call in an ISA-certified arborist to analyze the tree.
"Some pest problems can be made worse with fertilizers," the ISA says. "Additional nutrients can increase pest populations or reduce the tree's ability to fight off the stress caused by pests. Responsible arborists practice 'prescription fertilization' by only adding what is needed to reach your tree health objectives. Overfertilization can be a source of ground pollution and affect nearby water sources."
"Overfertilization is a waste of money," Mason said. "Nutrients are in the water source, and too many can burn out the tree."
But fertilizing may be recommended for maples this fall, according to Burnett.
"This year a lot of maple trees were affected pretty badly by the drought we had," he said. "They get a fungus on them, real brown leaves that crinkled on the edges. Even though they are dormant now, their roots still are active. Fertilizing can them a jump-start in the springtime. We do a deep root fertilization, a soil injection, now or in February or March."
Burnett warns against fertilizing some fruit trees.
"Apple and pear trees get fire blight and might look a little shabby," he said. "But if you don't diagnose them correctly, sometimes fertilizer can be a very dangerous situation that increases fire blight."
Mason says some oak trees might need iron, but not a broad spectrum fertilizer.
"Pin oak get a nutrient deficiency called iron chlorosis," she said. "Pin oak and sweet gum trees like a more acidic soil than we have here. You can tell by the yellowing of their leaves when the leaf veins stay green."
She encourages tree owners to bring in leaves from trees that they think have problems. Experts at some county Extension offices can make free, educated guesses based on the looks of leaves. They do not have the manpower to do on-site inspections.
When it comes to figuring out whether a particular tree has a disease or pest or is deficient in nutrients, some tree specialists charge for diagnosing, while others do not.
Burnett advises owners of ash trees who are worried about the Emerald Ash Borer to wait until spring to treat their trees. A new three-year treatment will be available then.
"You can treat your trees with injections, drenching or a spray; and it is more affordable before the bug gets in them." Burnett said.
He thinks the most effective treatment is injection into the bottom of the tree that rising sap takes up into the tree.
"It doesn't expose people or animals to the chemical," he said. "Some will be available for do-it-yourselfers, but it won't be the quality or strength sold to professionals."
Drenching involves digging a trench around the base of the tree, pouring chemicals into the trench, then pushing the soil back - a treatment good for about one year, according to Burnett.
Sprays are applied to trees' leaves and bark, but can be washed away.
"It is easier to take care of a healthy tree than to try to save a sick tree and get it on the right path," Burnett said.
And sometimes a tree can not be saved.
John Petmecky, the new owner of Bill Poor's Tree Service, spent most of Monday taking down an old tree in Sellers, north of Urbana, before it collapses from winter snow or ice.
Burnett said honey locust trees are another tree that more than likely needs to be cut down.
"They get a root rot that comes from farmers plowing fields and dispensing an airborne fungus," he said. "Curing a tree is far more extensive and expensive than getting rid of it."
"Work done before a storm costs a lot less than emergency work after a storm," Burnett said.
Many homeowners often worry about the size of their trees and fear they might be in danger. These fears lead to the assumption they need to be topped. Most of the time the thinking is that by reducing the height it will be less dangerous. But in reality it's quite the opposite. When a tree is topped it messes with the crown to root ratio. With so much of the crown missing it can't produce food that it needs to survive. The trees growth rapidly increases and will continue until its back , to the same size it was before. Many of times the tree seems to come back from topping then in a few years dies. In my opinion it's because the tree is over excerpting itself and eventually wears down. In short, it's suffering. Even if the tree survives any new grow is very unstable and now has sealed in layers of decay causing weak spots in the tree. Topping is not now or ever been an effective method of height reduction.
If your tree has been topped there are methods for recovery. First, small doses of fertilizers should be applied annually for a period of 3 to 4 years in some cases. The tree should be allowed to grow, for several seasons without pruning. Secondly, selective pruning is required after the tree has started to rebuild its old shape, so to speak. The idea is to remove the weak limbs that do not have a strong attachment to the main leader. When a tree is topped any new growth is very thick and many shoots will emerge from the stubbed cuts. By doing this, over time, it is possible to regain stronger main leaders and a more natural shape. It is important to remember during the course of treatment that any chemical applied can have extreme results and overdose is possible. A topped tree should be caudled like a sick child and cared for gingerly.
As a 2nd-generation arborist I have grown up around trees my entire life. I watched my father trim and remove trees for years; all the while modeling myself and future profession after him. I have seen other tree companies top trees and always thought it looked ridiculous. It wasn't until a few years ago that I myself begin to pursue my education further. My convictions about tree care and the way I perform have changed. I only encourage anyone who reads this to do the same.
I don't blame the home owners for having hacked up trees in their yard. It is the companys, and so called tree men who perform this unsightly work, who should take full responsibility for their uneducated practices. It is impossible for a person to fully understand tree care without an education in arboriculture.
There are several ways for a homeowner to find relief from trees that seem destined to find their roof. The first option is cabling the tree for added support. This helps relieve stress from the main crotch of the tree. (Usually where big leaders break away from the tree.) The second is thinning of the crown. This help by reducing the wind your tree catches. In turn you're less likely to have broken limbs in your tree. The Third and most effective meathod is called crotch dropping. This procedure is were older and taller leaders are selectively removed. By cutting leaders off at the point were they meet the trunk the trees collar can grow over and heal the exposed area.If it's done correctly it is possible to keep the shape and beauty all while providing relief for the home owner. These are all effective methods which can add years onto your tree. Don't leave the survival of your tree up to some hack, hire a trained professional who can address your problems the right way.
All of our firewood is hardwood and has been seasoned for at least seven months. It is a mixture of Oak, Hackberry, Ash, Locust, Mulberry, Elm, and hard Maple. All of our firewood is ready to burn! It's great for recreation, camping, or heating your home. Our firewood is environmentally friendly — we only sell firewood from trees that we cut down or trim at the request of our customers due to storm damage or remodeling. We never cut down trees just for firewood!
We no longer deliver firewood. The following is available for pickup.
U-Pick Up Firewood Pricing: $125 per Rick
Pick up your firewood directly from our Villa Grove firewood storage lot. Call ahead to schedule a pickup time. Call for details!
- Wild Cherry, Linden, and Pear wood can be purchased in bundles for added scent to any fire. Great around the holidays and special occasions.
- Cost: $165per rick.
- Apple and Hickory wood can be purchased in bundles for those wanting to add some flavor to their BBQ.
- Cost: $165 per rick.