Preventing trees from dying is easier when you understand their basic fertilization needs. When you blow or rake away fallen leaves, you are removing the tree’s natural food source. Read on to discover how to replace it.
Without periodic soil testing and fertilization, your tree’s health may decline. When this happens, insect infestation and disease may successfully attack and kill your tree.
fasttreeremovalatlanta.com collected information about fertilizer use, composition, and application, offering valuable insight into keeping your trees robust and healthy.
Why Do We Fertilize Trees?
Trees in landscapes and urban settings will require periodic fertilization to grow and remain healthy. In other settings, trees are able to fertilize themselves through the decay of fallen leaves and needles.
Rich soil composition is vital to a tree’s health as it requires the availability of the following 18 nutrients and minerals:
The trio of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen are used for cell formation and the production of food within the tree. While carbon and oxygen are absorbed from the atmosphere, hydrogen is acquired from the water absorbed by the root system.
With the natural decay of organic material or the application of fertilizer, the remaining nutrients and minerals necessary can be acquired from the soil and absorbed by the tree’s roots.
One of the principle reasons for fertilizing trees is to keep them healthy. Healthy trees are highly capable of defending themselves from insect infestations and diseases.
When their health is compromised, the weather, insects, disease, and wildlife can contribute to their rapid decline and death.
When Should I Fertilize My Tree?
As a rule of thumb, fertilizing trees should be done in the fall (after the growing season) or in late winter (before the growing season begins).
Your tree may need fertilizer if:
• The leaves appear yellowish through the summer.
• The leaves gradually reduce in size each year.
• There is minimal growth, even with optimal conditions.
• Fall color change and leaf drop occur early.
While these are typical signals that a tree is lacking nutrients, they may also be a sign that insects or disease may be affecting the tree’s health. Read this article for 5 Must Know Tree and Shrub Disease Prevention Tips
Before fertilizing and hoping for the best, call a professional tree service or arborist to evaluate the situation.
What Fertilizer is Best for My Tree?
Annual soil tests can help you determine the correct fertilizer composition. These tests also help you determine the pH level of the soil.
For trees that thrive in acidic soil, the pH level should be 6.5 or less, for those in base soil, that level should be 7.5 or above. Soil considered neutral has a pH of 7.0 (6.5 – 7.5).
Soil pH levels are easily adjusted by the addition of phosphoric acid or sulfur to make them more acidic. The addition of limestone, organic mulch, or wood ash will reduce the soil’s acidity. Many brands of fertilizer contain one or a combination of the above to adjust the soil pH level.
More often than not, the missing or deficient element in the soil is nitrogen, and as such, the majority of fertilizers contain it.
You can determine the composition of fertilizers in a retail setting by using the 3 numbers listed on the packaging. Those numbers represent the percentage by weight of:
• Nitrogen (N)
• Available Phosphorous (P2O5)
• Soluble Potash (K2O)
So, if the packaging of a fertilizer reads 10 10 10, that means that it contains 10% N, 10% P2O5, 10% K2O, and 70% inert filler. If there is a 0 in one of the three positions, that means the corresponding element is absent from the product.
Use these numbers to buy the fertilizer that will replace the deficiency in your soil.
Methods of Tree Fertilization
There are many ways to introduce fertilizer to a tree. The following are some of those methods:
Surface Application – Granular forms of fertilizer are evenly spread on the ground around the tree.
Fertilizer Spikes – This method involves driving fertilizer spikes into the ground spaced out around the tree.
Foliar Fertilization – This method uses liquid fertilizer directly applied to the foliage of the tree.
Filling Holes – Similar to the use of spikes, holes 1in in diameter and approximately 18in deep are filled with fertilizer. The holes should be about 3ft apart beginning 6ft from the trunk and extending just beyond the reach of the canopy.
Fertilizer Injections – For this method, a hole is drilled into the trunk of a tree, liquid fertilizer is injected, and the hole is plugged. (There is still much research to be done on the long-term impacts of this method)
Annual Fertilization for Tree Health
Don’t allow your trees to starve to death! The soil composition of your yard may ultimately determine whether your tree grows and flourishes or withers and dies.
In this article, you discovered the importance of using fertilizer, its composition, and its proper application to promote tree health. You also uncovered the importance of the soil’s pH level and how fertilizer can help you adjust it.
Failing to provide essential nutrients to your trees can weaken them, leaving them vulnerable to insect infestation and disease. In short, neglecting to fertilize your trees when they need it can kill them.
Trees around the world are dying, and they’re going fast. Can we figure out how to remedy this before it’s too late?
Trees on a global scale are being threatened and are dying from drought, disease, insects, and fire as average worldwide temperatures are on the rise. Individual action to plant and protect trees can and should be taken.
fasttreeremovalatlanta.com collected information demonstrating how global warming and climate change have adversely affected trees all over the world, including screwbean mesquite trees, ancient baobab trees, dying forests in California, and the plight of the pines in Canada’s Jasper national forest.
Tree Threats Due to Global Warming and Climate Change
As global warming leads to climate change, trees are forced to adapt or die. While many tree species are able to accommodate subtle temperature changes, there are those that are unable to cope with the environmental changes. Read here about climate change and the future of deciduous trees.
Warmer temperatures translate to a longer growing season. This produces larger trees with less wood density and a lower capacity to absorb and store carbon dioxide.
As trees are responsible for removing more than 100 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the global atmosphere, a decline in their capacity is noteworthy and somewhat alarming. For more on the planet’s carbon cycle visit globecarboncycle.unh.edu/CarbonPoolsFluxes.shtml
With higher temperatures (even by 1 or 2 degrees), droughts are becoming more frequent and widespread, potentially leading to:
Carbon Starvation – During a period of drought, trees will go into a state of conservation where they all but cease carbon dioxide absorption, thus dramatically reducing photosynthesis and the production of nutrients for the tree.
While many trees species have evolved to withstand drought, their decline and eventual death are hastened as periods of drought become more frequent and lengthy.
Hydraulic Failure – During periods of prolonged or severe drought, the lack of water also known as hydraulic failure can quickly debilitate and kill trees.
Bark Beetle Infestations – This same increase in temperatures also leads to more favorable conditions for wide-spread bark beetle infestations including in high-elevation pines.
As a beetle bores into the bark of a pine tree, it is met with resin, the tree’s primary defense mechanism. During periods of drought, the resin flow from pine trees is reduced, lowering the tree’s capability to repel the beetle’s attack.
Weather acts as another of the tree’s defense mechanisms against bark beetles. To kill a beetle brood, winter temperatures must remain below freezing for at least a week, and even this depends on the species of beetle.
USDA Hardiness Zone Map 1990 to 2015
To illustrate the warming tendencies across the continental United States, look no further than the USDA Hardiness Zone Map. The image below represents temperature increases between 1990 and 2015, subsequently causing a shift in the borders and sizes of the hardiness zones.
Some of these changes are significant enough to alter species selections for landscapes and gardens, more notably in the southern states. If these changes continue over the coming decades, plants and tree species planted as little as 30 years ago may succumb to their changed environment.
Dying Screwbean Mesquite Trees in the Southwest United States
Found in western Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, California, southern Nevada, and in northern Mexico, the screwbean mesquite tree is a well-adapted species for desert climates. Yet, this tree species is rapidly dying off.
While the reasons for the decimation of the screwbean mesquite are still eluding researchers, two strong candidates are emerging from the theories:
Temperature Increases – While desert vegetation is uniquely adapted to withstand high temperatures and sparse rainfall, it is the increase in overnight temperatures that may be causing the decline and death of this species.
Pathogens – In recent studies of dead screwbean mesquites, an unknown pathogen has been discovered in several of the specimens. Whether this pathogen played a part in the demise of the trees or was an effect of what caused their death is still undetermined. To read more about the plight of the screwbean mesquite visit blog.nature.org/science/2018/10/09/the-mystery-of-the-dying-mesquites/
Ancient African Baobab Trees Dying Off
African baobab trees are long-lived, with some having thrived for over 2,000 years. That is, until recently. According to a recent study of the eldest of the species, they have all begun to decline or die.
Most striking is that baobab trees that have persisted for so long are now dying one after another, indicating a dramatic change in their ecosystem.
While more research is needed for a conclusive determination, the trees are currently under pressure by increasing temperatures and drought. All information thus far points towards climate change as the culprit. Read more here nature.com/articles/s41477-018-0170-5.epdf
Dying Trees in California
The effects of rising temperatures, infestations, and drought on forests are abundantly clear in California’s forests. In mid-2016, aerial surveys documented that nearly 28 million trees had died in the California forest landscape.
With a landscape already prone to wildfires, California in recent years has seen its most destructive fires leave paths of devastation through communities and entire cities.
Fueled by dead and dying trees, these fires are fast-moving, more intense, and deadly reminders of the effects the climate is having on trees. For more wildfire information visit insurancepublicadjustersofgeorgia.com/wildfire-property-insurance-claim/
For further reading on the death of trees in California visit http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article75411182.html
Trees Changing, in Decline, and Dying Around the World
As average temperatures rise around the world, invasive diseases, pests, and drought are taking their toll on the global tree population.
In Europe, studies have revealed that warmer temperatures have created a longer growing season, producing larger, but weaker trees.
Canadian forests are being decimated by mountain pine beetles. As temperatures rise, the beetles are able to survive and successfully attack in higher altitudes. Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies is a perfect example where nearly half of the park’s trees have been affected and are either in decline or dead.
Tree diseases are also on the rise. In the recent past, Dutch elm disease and hemlock woolly adelgid caused catastrophic tree loss in eastern forests.
In 2010, it was found that Hawaii’s ohi’a trees were infected and dying from what was called ohi’a death disease. By 2016, nearly 50,000 acres on the big island’s native forest were found to be infected with the disease.
Currently, Beech leaf disease is posing severe threats by rapidly spreading to Beech trees in all stages, including saplings, mature trees, and those that are centuries old in the northeastern United States and Canada.
Rising Global Temperatures and Tree Loss
Trees are being negatively impacted on a global scale by rising temperatures. Without a solution in thecoming decades, our forests may all be at risk of dying.
In this article, you discovered how the world’s tree population is struggling with rising global temperatures, drought, aggressive diseases, insect infestations, and wildfire. You also found out that screwbean mesquite trees, African baobab trees, and North American pines are under incredible environmental stress.
It may seem that on an individual level we are helpless to halt or reverse these climatic changes. However, we can plant trees and shrubs in their correct hardiness zones, take measures to control tree pests and infestations, and provide ample water for your trees.
The neem tree may be the answer to your health and wellness needs. For centuries, the neem tree has been an essential part of life, health, and culture in both India and Asia.
The neem tree (Azadirachta Indica) is one of nature’s most versatile plants, and is best known for its highly effective insecticidal oil. However, as every part of the tree is used in different ways, there’s a lot to discover about this fascinating species.
In this article, fasttreeremovalatlanta.com looks at the neem tree’s species information, and gives you valuable insight into how the tree and its oil is used in agricultural, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries.
Neem Tree Leaves, Flowers, and Fruit Information
Neem trees are a part of the mahogany family, and relative to the chinaberry, of which it is very similar in appearance.
This fast-growing evergreen has wide branches which fan out to form a fairly dense and rounded crown which can span to over 80 feet in diameter. The average height of a neem tree at maturity is 50 – 65 feet with a maximum height of up to 130 feet.
Neem is native to the Indian subcontinent and thrives in areas with sub-arid to sub-humid conditions. While the tree is evergreen, during periods of severe drought, neems are known to drop most or nearly all of their foliage.
The tree bears fruit after 3 to 5 years of growth and reaches full productivity after 10 years, producing an annual harvest of up to 220 pounds of fruit per tree. A neem tree in its optimal growing environment can live for more than 200 years.
Neem leaves are from 8 to 15 inches long with pinnate green leaflets from 1 to 3 inches long and with short petioles. Due to its bitterness, neem foliage is rarely grazed by animals, they will only resort to it when no other vegetation is available.
The tree’s white fragrant flowers give way to an olive-like green fruit with a yellowish bittersweet pulp surrounding an inner shell with one (rarely two or three) seeds enclosed.
What Is Neem Good for?
Every part of the neem tree – from the bark and leaves to the roots, fruit and seed – serves a purpose.
The Whole Tree:
Being in the mahogany family, neem is prized timber for furniture and cabinet making.
From the Bark:
Neem bark has been utilized by Asian and Indian cultures for centuries as an insecticide, an antibacterial, and even as a spermicide. For its antibacterial properties, it has been used to treat:
• Infected wounds
From the Leaves:
• Powdered leaves are a component of some facial creams.
• Decomposing leaves and twigs are commonly mixed with soil and used as fertilizers.
• Neem leaves are also used as a very effective mulch.
• Some of the medical applications of neem leaves that are used in Eastern culture include treating: leprosy, fever, intestinal worms, upset stomach, skin ulcers, diabetes, gum disease, liver problems, eye disorders, and much more.
From the Roots:
With its significant antioxidant properties, neem root bark has shown promising laboratory results in the fight against diabetes and is commonly used together with the leaves to treat the above mentioned. Read more at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4791507/
From the Fruit and Seed:
While neem oil can be extracted from other parts of the tree, it is the fruit and seed that are dried, crushed, and used in mass production. Some applications of neem oil are:
• Mosquito repellant
• Anti-fungal foot creams
• Antioxidant replenishing tea
• Machinery lubricant
Neem Oil Insecticide Benefits
Azadirachtin is the prevalent active ingredient in neem oil, and for centuries, this oil has been used in India as a natural insecticide.
Neem oil works as both a growth regulator and a feeding deterrent.
As a growth regulator, immature insects, after contact or ingestion of the oil, have their molting process disrupted.
As a feeding deterrent, damage to the treated tree or plant is significantly reduced due to its repelling adult insects.
Insects that can be controlled with the use of neem oil include:
• Leaf Miners
• Squash bugs
While neem oil works well to control pests, it is much more effective as a deterrent. As with all insecticides and pesticides, read the label and follow the application instructions.
People Also Ask
Q: Is Neem Toxic?
A: To mammals, birds, bees, and vegetation, neem oil is virtually non-toxic. The component “Azadirachtin” found in the oil can be moderately toxic to marine life.
Q: What Is Neem Used for?
A: While neem in western culture is more recognized as an insecticide or insect repellent – eastern culture has been utilizing all parts of the tree to treat a wide range of afflictions ranging from diabetes and cardiovascular disease, to fungal infections and even as a contraceptive.
Q: What Bugs Does Neem Oil Kill?
A: Neem oil insecticides kill or repel gnats, moths, termites, aphids, cockroaches, whiteflies, beetles, squash bugs, nematodes, snails, mosquitoes, scale, other bugs. Neem insecticides are very effective and will kill some insects, disrupt the molting (growth) process of others, and repel adult insects with its bitter taste.
Neem Tree Benefits for Everyone
The benefits of neem are almost overwhelming. As this tree has practical applications from its roots to its leaves, neem trees are now being grown in hot and arid locations around the globe for research, practical application, and harvesting.
In this article, you discovered how the neem tree species looks and grows, how its oil is applied in insecticides, its medicinal uses, uses in cosmetics, and even as lubrification for machinery.
As research continues into the versatility of the neem tree and its byproducts, we are quickly learning that this species may indeed be one of the most beneficial trees to human health and wellness.
Summer is over and with it goes the growing season for trees. As cold weather quickly approaches, now is the time to help your trees prepare for the winter months.
By lending a hand to your trees in the fall, they will suffer less winter damage, making them more resistant to disease and infestation in the spring and summer months ahead.
fasttreeremovalatlanta.com gathered essential information and tips for both evergreen and deciduous winter tree care, including information on dormancy, deep watering, tree wrapping, pruning, and other preparations for the coming winter season.
Deep Water Your Trees in the Fall
All of your tree’s roots are on a continual march to supply water and nutrients to the tree above. They can spread 2 to 3 times the size of the canopy, and given the right soil and moisture conditions, they will grow very deep.
During the fall months, those same roots begin collecting and storing water for the coming winter months when water is often unavailable or unable to penetrate the ground.
Throughout fall and right up to the first freeze, give your trees a weekly deep watering. Deep waterings are generally defined as allowing enough water flow to saturate the top eight to ten inches of soil.
Mulching Protects Roots from Dying
Mulching is beneficial in many ways. It naturally curbs the growth of weeds, adds nutrients to the ground as it decomposes, and more importantly helps the soil maintain warmth and moisture.
Fall is the perfect time to mulch your trees with a 3 to four-inch layer of organic mulch start at the base of the tree (without covering the root flare) and extending to the tree’s dripline. If there is an existing layer of matted mulch, it should be fluffed or removed before adding another layer.
The combination of deep watering with proper mulching is one of the most significant advantages you can offer your tree in its fight to remain healthy.
Dormancy Is How Trees Prepare Themselves for Winter
Sometime back in mid to late summer, your trees stopped growing. They naturally did this to allow their new growth time to mature or “harden” before winter.
As temperatures begin to fall, another internal trigger is about to go off. The leaves of deciduous trees will start to change color and eventually drop to the ground signaling their entry into dormancy.
While evergreens do not lose all of their foliage, they do slow down during winter months and will benefit just as much from your fall assistance.
Tree Pruning During Dormancy
The safest time of year to prune your trees is in late fall once your trees have gone dormant. Pruning at this time allows you to remove unwanted, damaged, or dead growth while encouraging future spring growth.
As the threat of insect infestation and fungal infections are significantly reduced in late fall, your biggest concern is making sure that the cuts are made properly so the tree can compartmentalize the wound and heal itself quickly.
Read Ideal Times for Tree Pruning, Cutting and Emergency Tree Removal then watch this video to see how a proper pruning cut is made.
Winter Protection for Young Trees
Recently planted trees, especially those that are not native to your region require special attention. As it may take a tree several seasons to acclimate itself to its location, the following should be done to protect it from winter elements.
Deep watering through the fall
Mulching from the trunk’s root flare to the dripline
Wrapping trees in burlap
Burlap coverings are placed around evergreen shrubs and trees in the winter to protect them from the sun and wind. A frame or stakes should be used to prevent as much contact with the foliage as possible.
Read 3 Tips for Young Trees – Pruning, Tree Care and Protection then watch this video to see how easy it is to apply trunk wrapping.
People Also Ask
Q: Should I Water New Trees in Winter?
A1: Yes – during mild or extremely dry winters. Deep watering once a month will help get moisture to the roots.
A2: No – if the ground is frozen or there’s significant moisture or snowfall.
Q: Why do you wrap a tree in burlap?
A: Burlap effectively protects plants from winter burn which is a combination of direct sunlight, wind, and low soil moisture. Burlap allows the tree to breathe and doesn’t trap heat which makes it much more desirable than plastic or other materials.
Q: Can a tree freeze to death?
A: Yes. But very unlikely. While half of a tree’s mass is water, trees won’t entirely freeze. Trees alter their living cell membranes to be more pliable, allowing water to evacuate the cells and rest between them.
Protecting Trees in Winter
As this winter season and dormancy approach, knowing how to water, prune, wrap, and protect your trees will help them emerge stronger and healthier in the spring.
In this article, you’ve learned about deep watering in the fall, and how mulching preserves warmth and moisture for roots. Also covered was when and how pruning should take place, how to protect young trees, and some of the common questions other tree owners are asking.
By leaving a tree to fend for itself during the winter months, you are risking the decline of its health, infestation, illness, and ultimately, its death. Dead, dying, or weakened trees may fall at any time posing a tremendous risk to your property and to your physical safety.
When an 80-foot, 20,000 pound tree comes crashing down on your house, it may seem like Armageddon. Once you pull yourself together and see what has happened, there will likely be more questions and the stress of what to do next to properly and quickly resolve the situation.
Trees fall all the time. However, when one lands on a house, immediate action must be taken to prevent further damage.
The fasttreeremovalatlanta.com emergency experts lay out exactly how to handle a tree falling on your home, and answers pertinent questions that you may not have considered.
What To Do When A Tree Falls on Your House
There is no time to waste when your home has been struck by a fallen tree. Your immediate response should include the following:
1 – Evacuate the structure! Ensure that all family members, occupants, visitors, and pets are accounted for and safe. When damages are extreme, or there is flooding, consider moving them to another location until repairs can be made.
2 – Call 9-1-1, to report the incident if the tree:
• Caused any injuries or fatalities
• Interfered with power lines or utilities before falling on your home, or
• Is a threat to pedestrians or traffic
Inform the emergency operator of the situation and follow any instructions they may have.
3 – Document everything that is taking place and take pictures of all affected areas. This will help when filing your claim.
4 – Contact your homeowner’s insurance company and follow their instructions (delaying this call may void your policy).
5 – Contact a 24-hour emergency tree removal company to remove the damaged or fallen tree, and inspect other trees on the property that pose a potential threat.
6 – Contact a 24-hour roofing company to inspect, tarp, and repair damages to your roof.
7 – Contact a 24-hour plumber to stop any visible leaks and examine the rest of the plumbing system for any collateral damages.
8 – Turn off the power if detect that water is coming through the roof or from broken pipes. The combination of water and electricity is extremely dangerous and a recipe for electrocution.
9 – Contact a 24-hour emergency water removal company if water is flooding your home due to a storm or broken pipe, to stop the water from causing structural damages or initiating a secondary problem with mold.
What You Need To Know If A Tree Falls on Your House
The House – When a tree falls on a house, there will be apparent damages to the area in which it fell. However, this type of impact to a structure may result in hidden structural, electrical, and plumbing issues throughout the house.
The Tree – If the tree was uprooted during a storm, be aware that trees within close proximity may also be in danger of falling. Trees growing close together will often rely on each other’s roots to help anchor themselves.
Also, during severe and prolonged weather events, the soil may become oversaturated and destabilize the roots of other nearby trees; thus, leaving them vulnerable to strong winds or falling by their own weight days after the end of the storm.
Watch this video to see how trees can be affected by a severe weather event.
The Insurance Company – In the event your insurance company expresses they will not cover the costs of the tree removal, roof damage, and home repairs, you are not necessarily going to be left holding the bill.
Insurance policy’s can be complex and confusing, but if you meet your deductible and have not used the total coverage limits of your policy, your insurance provider may be liable to pay for damages.
When needing an advocate throughout this process, the insurance public adjusters can help you file, fight, and receive the full benefits of your insurance policy.
People Also Ask – Frequent and Important Questions
Q: Is a tree falling covered by homeowners insurance?
A1: Yes. If the tree fell on an insured structure or came down in a way that obstructs access to it (walkways, driveways, or doorways).
A2: Not likely. If the tree that fell was neglected, or did not fall on or block your structure, your claim may be refused.
Q: What happens when a neighbor’s tree falls on your house?
A: If your neighbor’s tree falls on your house, the basic rule is that the insurance policy of the damaged property pays for the losses.
Or, if your tree falls on your neighbor’s house, your neighbor’s homeowner’s insurance will cover the damages to your neighbor’s house.
For what to do when a tree falls on a car, see fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/tree-falls-on-car-who-is-responsible
Q: Is a fence covered by homeowner’s insurance?
A: Homeowner’s insurance policies will typically cover a fence, shed or a detached garage if it’s damaged by a covered peril on your property, such as a fallen tree.
Q: What happens if my neighbor’s tree falls in my yard?
A: In most cases, each property owner is responsible for filing a claim for what falls into their yard, onto a fence or other structure in the yard.
Q: What does it mean when you have a $1000 deductible?
A: A deductible is an amount you pay out-of-pocket to the insurance when there is an accident involving property you have insured.
Let’s say the total cost to fix your roof is $3,000 and your deductible is $1,000 (this is what you pay). Only after you have satisfied the deductible, will your insurance carrier then cover the remaining $2,000 of the repair costs.
Emergency Tree Removal, Insurance, and Repairs
Ultimately, knowing how to react and what to do when a tree falls on your home will help you minimize stress and get your property and life back to normal as quickly as possible.
Once a tree falls on your home, time is of the essence. Get your loved ones to safety, call 9-1-1, follow their instructions, then contact your insurance carrier, an emergency tree removal company, a roofing company that can inspect the home’s structure for hidden damages, and a plumber to ensure that the jolt hasn’t caused any pipe ruptures or hidden leaks.
Stalling or delaying to take action when a tree falls on your home can void your homeowner’s insurance policy, exacerbate the damages to your home, and lead to expensive out-of-pocket repairs.
An ambrosia beetle infestation can cause catastrophic damages and the death of your trees if it goes without treatment.
Once an ambrosia beetle infestation is detected, professional treatment should begin immediately as well as steps to prevent spreading.
In this fasttreeremovalatlanta.com article, you will learn how this insect damages trees, discover how to identify an ambrosia beetle infestation, treat it, and prevent them from spreading to other trees.
Identifying an Ambrosia Beetle Infestation
For the mid-Atlantic and southern states, the concerning species of the ambrosia beetle (native to southeast Asia) is the granulate ambrosia beetle, (Xylosandrus Crassiusculus).
Common host tree species for this pest include crape myrtles, magnolias, oaks, willows, peach, plum, cherry, Japanese maples, ash, dogwood, beech, birch, and many other species can support the ambrosia beetle and the ambrosia fungus.
Besides identifying the beetle itself (pictured above), here are a few of the signs to help you positively identify an ambrosia beetle infestation:
- Wilting of foliage on terminal ends of branches and twigs.
- Terminal dieback.
- Entry holes on the affected trunk, branch, or twig.
- Blackening of the tissue surrounding the entry hole or of the “pith” which is the nutrient-rich tissue beneath the xylem and phloem in branches, twigs, and stems.
- Sawdust “toothpicks” will protrude from the hole being bored into the tree.
Watch this video to see the signs of an ambrosia beetle infestation.
Other boring insects will display some of the same signs. Regardless of the species that is attacking your trees, the damage they cause is insurmountable, and action must be taken to halt the infestation.
Ambrosia Beetle Tree Damage
An ambrosia beetle infestation is a bit different from other beetle infestations. Whereas most beetles bore into the tree and stay just under the bark to feed on the xylem and phloem, ambrosia beetles burrow deep into the tree’s heartwood.
Once in the heartwood, the beetle creates a chamber or “gallery,” lays its eggs and releases spores of the ambrosia fungi, which lives on (in a symbiotic manner) and is transported by the ambrosia beetle.
As the fungus grows within the tree, it serves as food for the hatching larvae. And as it spreads, it blackens the pith tissue of the host while invading and feeding off of the tree’s nutrient-rich xylem and phloem.
To further understand the symbiotic relationship between fungi and beetles, watch this video.
Tree boring insects like the ambrosia beetle are able to inflict tremendous damage to trees in all growth and health stages. However, the healthier a tree is, the less likely it will be infested.
Ambrosia Beetle Infestation Treatment
Part of any infestation treatment is the awareness of the problem. Once confirmed, advise your neighbors and any community groups of the situation. Offer to educate them and follow up by recommending the following:
1 – The use of insecticides on infested trees will result in little to no control of the infestation. However, the same insecticides will help keep unaffected trees from being attacked.
2 – Prune back and destroy all affected areas of the tree. If more than 20% of the crown will be lost, seek professional assistance.
In these cases, the tree may become more stressed, inviting further infestation and disease. Removal of the tree may be required to eliminate the infestation altogether.
3 – Severe infestations in which the trunk of the affected tree has many entry points may require the removal of the tree. As mentioned earlier, insecticides provide little to no results on an already infested tree.
4 – Extreme caution should be exercised when using fungicides and herbicides around trees infested by boring insects. In attempting to curb the growth of fungi, the exposed xylem and phloem may carry these chemicals throughout the tree and kill it.
5 – Don’t go it alone. Seek the assistance of a tree professional or arborist, they will be able to guide you through treatments and offer advice based on their knowledge and experience.
Tree Boring Insect Prevention
Preventing infestations begins with the proper and regular maintenance of your trees to keep them healthy.
Ambrosia beetles are less likely to attack healthy trees, instead will attack weakened, dying, or even dead trees with sufficient moisture for their symbiotic fungal growth.
Besides tree health, bark insecticidal sprays are the only other practical way to protect trees from being attacked.
Professional Tree Service and Infestation Prevention
Now that you know how to identify the signs of an ambrosia beetle infestation, the potential devastation they can inflict, and how to prevent or treat an outbreak, you should be prepared when the time comes.
Early identification of an infestation is crucial in halting irreversible damage to your trees. As stated above, the removal and disposal of affected limbs or the entire tree is the only truly effective treatment. Prevention is ultimately a question of the tree’s health and using insecticides before an infestation begins.
By not taking measures to halt an infestation or prevent one from attacking your trees, the risk of that tree weakening, becoming further stressed and eventually dying is significantly increased. Trees in this weakened state are more likely to topple, potentially causing catastrophic damages or even death. Your best course of action would be to call on a professional tree service to evaluate the situation and help you through it.
Summer brings with it an explosion of plant, animal, and insect life. It is the time when our efforts in the garden become most evident and the time we must pay the closest attention to it.
From watering to fertilizing and from pruning to deadheading, the team at Fast Tree Removal Services Atlanta has compiled 10 tips to help you turn your garden into a beautiful showcase of your efforts.
Tips for a Successful Summer Garden
The following tips will help you achieve a brighter, healthier, and more beautiful garden throughout the summer months.
1. Watering in Summer Months – As the weather heats up, your garden is going to need more water. Here’s how to accomplish this:
- Water in the evening or early morning.
- Water slowly using a soaker hose or a dripline with a bucket (holes at the bottom of the bucket release water slowly through hoses or tubes). This is called deep watering and will encourage all roots to thicken and grow deeper.
- Plan on watering at least once per week, and in drier locations, two or three times per week.
- Avoid overwatering. When the top two inches of soil remains moist, postpone the watering for a day or two. Browning of the foliage and root rot can occur from overwatering.
Watch this video to learn how to assemble a dripline using a standard bucket.
2. Soil Preparation for Plant Growth – Preparing your garden’s soil will be greatly influenced by what you intend to plant or already have planted. The following will help you enrich and balance your soil:
- Start with dry soil (trying to turn wet or moist soil will make a big mess). Turn the top 6-8 inches while adding well-decomposed manure or finished compost.
- Remove rocks and break up large clods.
- When you run into roots, know where they are coming from. Cutting through tree roots may leave the tree susceptible to disease and infestation, potentially causing serious problems for the garden. More often than not, the mycelia that surround and colonizes tree roots will do the same to plant roots, creating a beneficial ecosystem for them to coexist.
- Check the pH level of the soil. Levels range from 0 to 14 with 7 being neutral, below 7 is acidic and above 7 is alkaline. Most plants will thrive when the pH level is between 5.5 and 7. The addition of limestone will raise the pH level, while compost and organic materials will work to lower it.
Watch this video to learn different methods of measuring your soil’s pH level.
3. Weed the Garden to Remove Competing Roots – While diversity in a garden is important, weeds cause more problems than they are worth. Here’s how to get rid of them without the use of chemicals.
- Use a spade or garden rake to loosen the soil around undesired growth. Pull the weed and as much of the roots as possible to prevent regrowth.
- Dispose of or destroy these plants away from the garden and compost pile.
- Any time you see something that shouldn’t be there, remove it. Weeds grow fast and can rapidly take over a section of your garden if left unchecked.
4. Planting for Optimized Growth – Know the species of plants and shrubs in your garden and how much light they need.
The location of your garden with respect to physical structures, shrubs, and trees will determine the amount of direct sunlight it receives. The following are the categories playing a part in the growth and health of your garden:
- Full Sun – six hours per day,
- Partial Sun/Partial Shade – three hours per day,
- Shade – less than two hours of sunlight per day, and
- Indirect Light – bright light without direct sunlight,
Knowing this factor will help you select the right plant species for your garden. Plants sold in nurseries, garden centers, or even seed packets will have the recommended sunlight exposure printed on the label.
5. Planting Vegetables – If you have a large, spacious garden, vegetables would make a great summer addition to it. The warmth of the soil and air along with intense sunlight facilitate their rapid growth. Some great examples are:
Take a look at this vegetable planting calendar by the University of Georgia for the state of Georgia.
6. Fertilize Your Garden to Encourage Growth – If you have properly prepared your soil with organic material, your plants may not need to be fertilized. For heavy feeding vegetables like corn and tomatoes. However, a slow release nitrogen-rich inorganic fertilizer should be worked into the soil just before they are planted.
- Inorganic fertilizers deliver immediate nutrients and promote faster growth.
- Organic fertilizers release nutrients at a much slower pace but produce healthier soil.
7. Mulch to Protect the Soil and Roots – Mulch works for gardens the same way it does for trees. The addition of a layer of organic mulch to your garden provides the following benefits:
- The soil will retain more moisture.
- Mulch naturally balances soil temperatures, preventing overheating and excessive drying.
- As the mulch decomposes, nutrients and nitrogen are released into the soil.
- For both annual and perennial gardens, old mulch should be removed and replaced with new mulch each spring. This prevents rot from occurring and continues the delivery of nutrients to the soil. Avoid layering mulch on mulch.
8. Pruning Plants and Shrubs – While pruning activities should take place in late winter and early spring, there is never a bad time to prune the following:
- Dead or dying foliage, leaves, and stems.
- Disease infected sections of a plant.
- Insect infested or heavily damaged sections of a plant.
- Invasive or interfering growth on sidewalks, pathways, or roads.
9. Deadheading To Encourage Stronger Growth – Deadheading is nothing more than removing faded or spent flowers. This process allows the plant to use its resources to grow stronger and in many cases continue to bloom further into the season.
10. Pest Control to Keep Your Garden Healthy – Flowering plants and shrubs will naturally invite insects and pests to your garden and landscape. Birds, bees and other pollinators, and other predators are very effective at keeping their numbers down. You can take the following steps to prevent infestations from occurring:
- Frequently inspect your garden, shrubs, and trees for signs of infestations.
- When you spot a bug problem, spray a simple solution of 2Tbsp of dish soap to 1 gallon of water to the affected area and all surrounding foliage from the top and bottom.
- Consult your local nursery. They may have current information on which pest problems are affecting your area and how to prevent an infestation.
- Keep an eye on your trees. Tree infestations can have serious ramifications on your entire landscape. When you detect an infestation or trouble with one of your trees, call a tree service to evaluate the situation and offer a course of action.
For other tips to maintain a healthy lawn during summer visit http://www.pearltrees.com/homegardeningguide/item224772263
Garden Design and Location
The design and location of your garden play a significant role in what to plant and where to plant it.
As each season rolls through, keep a journal on how well or poorly your plants did. How much sun they got, the watering schedule, infestations, diseases, the soil pH level, etc.
This information will help you determine how to adjust the soil, choose plant species, or even move the garden’s location entirely.
How ever you go about growing your garden, keep it fun. When possible, stop to smell a flower or two.