Prevent tree boring insects from crippling and quickly killing your trees. By knowing how to identify when your trees have been attacked, you can take steps to halt the advancement of these killer bugs.
fasttreeremovalatlanta.com gathered the following information on tree boring insects, infestation signs, and how to treat infested trees.
Round-Headed Borers (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)
Referred to as long-horned beetles in their adult stage, the larvae of these beetles tunnel beneath the bark and into their host tree’s heartwood. Some of the round-headed borer species include:
Locust Borer (Megacyllene robiniae) – This long-horned beetle can be found feeding on goldenrod and other flowers in the fall. Larvae hatch from eggs laid in tree bark crevices then tunnel into the inner bark, constructing cells in which they spend the winter months. It takes about a year before the larvae are fully grown and about an inch in length.
Watch this video for more information about locust borers.
Visible infestation symptoms include wet spots, oozing sap, and frass on the bark of black locusts.
Cottonwood Borer (Plectrodera scalator) – This beetle is frequently found on or attacking cottonwood, poplar, or willow trees. Adult beetles are active from May through August, and the larvae tunnel at the base of the trunk or below ground level. It takes about 2 years for this species to develop and emerge as adult beetles.
Multiple cottonwood borer attacks can result in defoliation, crown wilt, stem or branch dieback, and eventual death.
Red-Headed Ash Borer (Neoclytus acuminatus) – This is one of the more common wood-boring beetles. Red-headed ash borers feed on many wood species, including ash, oak, elm, and grapes. Adults can be found on log piles and frequently emerge from firewood.
Red Oak Borer (Enaphalodes rufulus) – This beetle attacks oak and maple trees and can be a serious threat in nurseries. Adults lay eggs individually in bark crevices during mid to late summer. Larvae then tunnel under the bark and into the tree’s heartwood.
Larvae usually tunnel completely around the trunk or branches they infest, resulting in girdling. Red oak borers feed on their host for more than one year before pupating in the chambers tunneled into the heartwood. Red oak borer damage kills limbs, terminals, or the entire tree and greatly increases the risk of secondary infestations and diseases.
Like other boring insect symptoms, red oak borer infestations can be detected by frass around buckled bark near the gallery entrance.
Twig Girdler (Oncideres species) – Damage from this borer occurs primarily from egg-laying. This insect affects pecan, mimosa, chinaberry, and huisache (sweet acacia). During the fall, adults girdle limbs by chewing a V-shaped groove entirely around twigs, branches, or terminals. Eggs are then deposited into the bark on the girdled branch away from the tree.
Watch this video for more about twig girdlers.
Girdled limbs eventually die and break, falling to the ground during high winds and storms. Damage can significantly disfigure a young tree and lead to secondary branching. Larvae are unable to develop in healthy sapwood. Removing and destroying girdled twigs and branches from the ground in winter and spring can significantly reduce this insect population.
Twig and Branch Pruners (Elaphidionoides and Agrilus species) – This insect species inflicts damage similar to that of twig girdlers on several tree species, including:
- Pecan (Carya illinoinensis)
- Persimmon (Diospyros kaki)
- Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
- Elm (Ulmus)
- Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
- Hickory (Carya)
- Maple (Acer)
- Oak (Quercus)
- Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)
With twig girdlers, it’s the adults that inflict damage. With twig and branch pruners, it is the larvae that feed beneath the bark, girdling twigs and branches. Resulting damages accompanied by repeated attacks can jeopardize a tree’s health, leaving it susceptible to other harmful insect infestations and diseases.
Flat-Headed Borers (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)
These metallic tree-boring beetles have flattened, hard-bodied, and with short antennae. These beetles are beautiful insects with distinctive metallic colors (blue, green, copper, bronze, etc.). When flat-head borer larvae tunnel beneath the bark and/or into the sapwood, they leave oval or flattened, winding tunnels filled with frass. This tunneling can girdle trunks and branches, killing its host expeditiously.
Emerald ash borer (Agrillus planipennis) (EAB) – Adults are distinctive metallic green beetles that have killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in North America. The larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees from early summer to mid-fall, causing hydraulic failure and death. Infested native ash trees are all susceptible to attack. The insect has also been found attacking white fringe trees (Chionanthus virginicus).
Watch this video for more information about the Emerald Ash Borer.
Flatheaded Apple Tree Borer (Chrysobothris femorata) – This species is a severe threat to small, stressed landscape trees, primarily flowering crab apples, hawthorns, and maples when stressed.
This aggressive borer may attack almost any hardwood tree that is stressed by:
- Sun Scald
- Soil Compaction
- Mechanical Injury
Similar to an EAB infestation, it makes broad winding tunnels under the bark, destroying the phloem, cambium, and outer xylem. A single borer can girdle and kill a small tree.
Bronze Birch Borer (Agrilus anxius) – This borer is a severe threat to white or paper birch. Symptoms of an infestation include twig and branch dieback. With successive years of attack, the tree becomes progressively weaker until it is killed.
D-shaped adult exit holes are a clear indication of an infestation. Adult bronze birch borers are slender, olive-bronze beetles begin emerging, and laying eggs in mid to late spring.
Note: With the exception of species like the emerald ash borer, most of these borers are secondary invaders, occurring when a tree’s defenses are weakened by previous infestations and/or diseases.
Watch this video for more about birch tree issues.
Bark beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)
Southern Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis) – This species is a primary threat to southern pine forests. Adult beetles are active during warmer months and disperse widely to healthy, injured, weakened, or stressed trees in the spring.
Six or more generations of beetles may occur within one calendar year. This beetle’s larvae tunnel beneath the bark, producing tunnels or galleries in patterns resembling the letter “S.” This tunneling disrupts the cambium layer, girdling the tree, and causing hydraulic failure.
Infested tree needles turn reddish-brown shortly after infestation during the summer months, and up to 3 months afterward in the winter.
Removal and careful destruction of infested trees can help prevent healthy trees in the vicinity from being attacked.
Watch this informative video about pine beetles.
Granulate Ambrosia Beetle (Xylosandrus crassiusculus) – This destructive beetle attacks healthy, stressed, or freshly cut:
- Elm (Ulmus)
- Oak (Quercus)
- Pecan (Carya illinoinensis)
- Peach (Prunus persica)
- Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)
Dark reddish-brown adult female beetles tunnel into twigs, branches, or trunks, excavating a system of tunnels in the wood or pith in which eggs are deposited. Along with eggs, they introduce a fungus on which the larvae will feed after hatching.
Visible damage includes wilted leaves and protrusions of compressed wood dust from numerous small holes. Cankers can form at the damage site, eventually girdling the tree and killing it.
Chemical control of this beetle species is generally unsuccessful. Promoting the health and vigorous growth of your trees provides a more successful means of control, as ambrosia beetles tend to avoid attacking healthy, thriving trees.
Note: The European elm bark beetle (Scolytus multistriatus) is the carrier of Dutch elm disease. Dutch elm disease (DED) has decimated the US elm tree population over the past century.
For more information about ambrosia beetles, read fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/ambrosia-beetle-damage-treatment
Weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)
Weevils are beetles and are almost entirely plant feeders. The majority of species are associated with a specific range of hosts, in some cases only thriving on a single species. Some of the species present in the US include:
Asiatic Oak Weevil (Cyrtepistomus castaneus) – This weevil is present throughout much of the East. Small, legless grubs find refuge in hardwood tree roots, surviving the fall, winter, and early spring. During this time, the grubs pupate and adults emerge during the spring to feed on oak and chestnut foliage. They feed on the margins of leaves, sometimes consuming all but the main veins.
Although Asiatic oak weevils feed primarily on oaks and chestnut, they have been known to attack other woody plants.
The Asiatic oak weevil has not developed resistance to insecticides as of yet. Just about any insecticide labeled for landscape use should give adequate control.
Chichí Weevil or Citrus Root Weevil (Diaprepes abbreviatus) – This species was discovered in southern California in 2005, where it affects citrus, avocado, and nursery stock. It is also known to infest sugarcane, tuber crops like potatoes, and many species of ornamental plants.
Female citrus root weevils can lay up to 5,000 eggs, depositing them in clusters on plant foliage. The weevil then folds and glues the leaves together. Larvae emerge from the eggs after one week, drop to the ground, and begin to burrow down to the host plant’s roots. Larvae cause significant damage as they feed on the roots for several months.
While the adult weevil feeds on the plant’s foliage, the larvae do the most damage. They often partially or entirely consume the taproot of the plant, which can kill it. Phytophthora is a common disease in plants attacked by this weevil.
The weevil spreads by cross-contamination when infested equipment plants, soil, and containers are moved or used from site to site.
Watch this video for more on Diaprepes root weevils.
Palmetto Weevil (Rhynchophorus cruentatus) – Most active in late spring and early summer, this weevil is native to Florida and is found as far west as southern Texas and South Carolina to the north. The palmetto weevil is the largest and only species of palm weevil in North America.
This weevil’s preferred plant species include:
- Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis)
- Sabal palms (Sabal palmetto)
- Coconut palms (Cocos nucifera)
- Toddy palm (Caryota urens)
- Bismarck palm (Bismarckia nobilis)
- Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens)
- Washington fan palm (Washingtonia robusta)
- Tropical fan palms (Pritchardia beccariana)
- Royal palms (Roystonea regia)
- Blue latan palm (Latania loddigesii)
Palm trees are usually attacked when distressed, making transplanted trees a frequent target. Palmetto Weevils mate at the base of the branches where the females then deposit their eggs.
The grubs then bore into the palm tree, killing it. Damage is only visible after the larvae have turned into adult weevils, and by then, it is too late to save the tree. The life cycle of this weevil, from egg to adult, is about 80 to 85 days.
Note: While most weevil larvae do not bore into the cambium layer or heartwood of trees, they do cause enough damage to allow multiple successful attacks from other, more invasive, insect species.
Clearwing Borers (Podosesia syringae)
As adults, clearwing borers are delicate, wasp-like moths, active in the daytime. In this form, little to no damage is inflicted, as they only feed on nectar or not at all. The damaging larvae are whitish, hairless brown-headed caterpillars. Types of clearwing borers include:
Banded Ash Clearwing Borer (Podosesia aureocincta) – Attacks only ash, principally green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica). Most active in August and September.
Carpenterworms (Prionoxystus robinae) – These large larvae tunnel through the trunks of oak, elm, willow, ash, boxelder, poplar, cottonwood, black locust, and fruit trees. These larvae spend 2 to 3 years developing, feeding underneath the bark in the cambium, and later tunneling into the heartwood. Carpenterworms, unlike other larvae, enter and exit the trunk of the tree multiple times during their development.
Watch this video for more on carpenterworms.
Dogwood Borer (Synanthedon scitula) – Attacks flowering dogwood (Cornus florida). Infestations in young trees occur in the main trunk where mechanical injuries are present. Infestations in older trees typically occur near pruning scars, cankers, or cracked bark. Small wet areas on the bark indicate young borer activity in early summer.
Lilac Borer (Podosesia syringae) – This species attacks lilac, ash, and privet anywhere east of the Rocky Mountains. The majority of infestations occur from the root flare up to about 3 feet. Most active in April or May.
Rhododendron Borer (Synanthedon rhododendri) – Attacks rhododendrons and, occasionally, mountain laurel and flowering azaleas.
Peachtree borer (Synanthedon exitiosa) and
Lesser Peachtree Borer (Synanthedon pictipes) – These borers attack trees of the Prunus species, including fruit and ornamental varieties. Peachtree borer larvae attack young trees, while the lesser peachtree borer seeks older trees.
The tree species most affected by clearwing borers include:
- Ash (Fraxinus)
- Dogwood (Cornus florida)
- Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
- Oak (Quercus)
- Rhododendron (Rhododendron ferrugineum)
- Flowering Peach (Prunus persica)
- Flowering Plums (Prunus cerasifera)
- Flowering Cherries (Prunus serrulata)
Signs of a Clearwing Borer Infestation – Signs of a clearwing borer infestation can appear similar to those of other boring insects. Use the following to distinguish the difference:
- Terminal shoots, branches, and the crown will show signs of dieback.
- Cracked bark, cankers, and calluses may form around infestation sites.
- Large limbs may die, be weakened to the point of falling in the wind, or be self pruned from the tree.
- These borers leave coarse, dark frass behind in cracks in the bark.
- When a Prunus species is successfully attacked, frass may be mixed with oozing sap or gum.
- When adults emerge from the tree, they leave an empty shell (pupal skin) protruding from the bark.
Tip: As woodpeckers and other birds hunt the larvae, they leave feeding holes behind. This is a significant indication that your tree is infested.
Note: Older, more established trees may be re-infested year after year until they eventually die or fall.
Wood and Tree Boring Insects
When dealing with a tree boring insect infestation (suspected or confirmed), call on an ISA certified arborist’s knowledge and experience. Locate an arborist in your area by visiting treesaregood.org/findanarborist
If you suspect or have a confirmed emerald ash borer infestation, visit emeraldashborer.info/reporting-eab.php to identify the correct agency for reporting the infestation.
Insect webs can lead to tree decay, disease, and death, so be vigilant about spotting pests and insects in your trees. You can also contact your state’s forestry service for information about potential and current threats in your area. Visit fs.usda.gov/about-agency/contact-us/regional-offices to locate a regional office in your area.
Disclaimer: If you choose to use chemical treatments on affected trees, cut wood, and/or ground soaks, locate, read, and follow all manufacturer’s advisories and recommendations.
Tree Killing Boring Insects
In this article, you discovered species information, traits, and treatment for some of the most destructive tree boring insects.
By knowing how to identify trees in decline and the pest causing it, you can take quick measures to save your tree and/or contain an insect’s outbreak.
Ignoring an attacked tree’s signs can result in the spread and perpetuation of a deadly tree boring insect infestation.
Prevent your trees from becoming a hazard to your property and wellbeing. By knowing how to care for your trees, you can add decades to their lifespan while protecting yourself and property.
fasttreeremovalatlanta.com gathered the following tree care tips that promote the health of your tree from the time you plant it through its maturity.
Plant the Right Tree in the Right Place
Tree care begins when you select a species that fits your yard or landscape. Then, planting that tree in the right location will save you from dealing with grave tree health problems down the road. Consider the following:
Species – When selecting a tree species for your yard or landscape, you should answer the following questions:
- Is the species evergreen or deciduous? Deciduous trees lose their foliage in the fall.
- Is the species understory or overstory? Overstory species can reach 80 to 100 feet or more.
- Is the species flowering or fruit-bearing? After several years of growth, you may have an annual harvest to feast on.
- Is the species known to have invasive roots? Invasive roots can cause expensive damage to foundations and underground utilities.
Location – Determine multiple potential locations to plant your tree. Just because you think it would look good in one space doesn’t mean it has sufficient room or optimal conditions to reach maturity.
Look Up – Depending on the species of the tree you want to plant, consider its maximum height at maturity and if it will interfere with anything overhead i.e., power lines, road to house connections, etc.
What’s Below – As your tree grows upward, root growth will occur downward and outward. Verify the location of water mains, sewage lines, septic tanks, underground utilities, etc.
Call 8-1-1 to request a property inspection or visit call811.com to see the requirements and/or regulations in your state.
What Surrounds the Location – Your planting site should be 15 to 20 feet from driveways, sidewalks, fences, your home, and other structures to avoid root damage as the tree matures.
Read more about planting trees at fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/tree-planting-location-landscape-species
How To Select a Healthy Tree
Once you’ve chosen the species and future location of your tree, observe the following to select a healthy specimen to plant:
Examine The Tree – It should look healthy with bright bark, and include the following:
- A well-developed leader
- Well-distributed branches
- Branches low on the trunk
- Free from signs of disease and insect infestation
- Free from signs of mechanical injury and breaks
Avoid purchasing trees with signs of drought. Take extra care to examine the foliage, twigs, and limbs. They should be firm but flexible, without signs of drying.
Examine The Roots – Before settling on a specimen, look for the following traits in its roots:
Bare-Root Seedlings and Saplings – When looking at bare-root specimens, the roots should be:
- Free from damage or breaks
- Moist and developed
- Roughly the length of its stems (for deciduous species)
If something looks or feels wrong, chances are, it is wrong. Be very selective when choosing a tree to plant.
Watch this video to see how bare-root trees are properly planted.
Balled and Burlapped Trees – These are trees that have had their root ball preserved and are typically wrapped in burlap. The following should be observed when looking at balled or burlapped trees:
- The root ball should be firm
- It should be moist but not wet
- The root ball should be proportional to the tree’s size
- The root ball should be firm around the trunk (no slack)
Avoid purchasing trees that appear loosely attached to their root ball. Chances are the root system has sustained significant damage or has dried out.
Watch this video to see how balled and burlapped trees are properly planted.
Container-Grown Trees – Container-grown trees can come with severe root growth problems. Inspect tree roots growing in containers as follows:
- If the container contains large, circling roots, these roots will likely continue to circle when planted in the ground. This condition may lead to the girdling and premature death of your tree.
- If roots have been pruned, examine them closely. Pruned roots should have clean cuts, while larger roots should be left intact.
- Like with burlapped root balls, the soil and roots should be firmly joined together.
As with bare-root and burlapped trees, container-grown trees should appear healthy with no signs of disease or insect infestation. Read more about warning signs and tree problems at fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/warning-signs-problems-solutions-atlanta-trees
Watch this video to see how container-grown trees are properly planted.
Watering Your Trees
From the time your trees are planted, through maturity, they will need moist, well-drained soil for healthy growth.
Newly planted trees need regular and consistent watering until their root systems establish. Root systems of trees, whether bare-root, balled and burlapped, or container, are severely restricted and require more frequent waterings. Consider the following watering intervals:
- Daily watering for two weeks after planting
- Every three days from three weeks to twelve weeks
- Weekly deep waterings after twelve weeks
Once planted, root systems grow and establish themselves until they expand much wider than the canopy of the tree. This process takes one and a half to two years, and watering intervals should continue through this time.
The amount of water your tree requires can be calculated by the caliper of its trunk at planting. For trees with diameters up to four inches, measure the trunk six inches above the ground. For those greater than four inches, measure the trunk at twelve inches above the ground.
For every inch in diameter, your tree will require 1 to 1.5 times that number in gallons of water per irrigation. Coincidentally, The time it takes for the tree’s roots to establish themselves is also 1.5 times that number in years. For example:
- 1-inch caliper requires 1.5 years and 1 to 1.5 gallons per irrigation
- 3-inch caliper requires 4.5 years and 4 to 4.5 gallons per irrigation
- 5-inch caliper requires 7.5 years and 5 to 7.5 gallons per irrigation
Note: A deep watering soaks the ground around the tree to a depth of nine to twelve inches. This type of watering encourages roots to grow deep and away from the tree, establishing a sturdy root plate.
Tip: Avoid overhead watering to prevent the unintentional spreading of harmful pathogens to your trees.
Mulching Your Trees
Mulching newly planted trees with three inches of organic mulch optimizes root production by:
- Helping the soil retain moisture
- Acts as an absorbent, preventing water runoff
- Insulates the soil from extreme heat and/or cold temperatures
- Helps prevent soil compaction
- Improves soil as it decomposes
- Decreases competition from turf and weed roots
Tip: Keep mulch from contacting the trunk or root flare of the tree. This helps prevent rot.
Note: Using too much mulch can suffocate roots or cause the soil to retain too much water, leading to root rot.
Watch this video to see mulching best practices.
Fertilizing Your Trees
Fertilizer is often misused, it is not plant food. Trees produce their own food by making sugars through a process called photosynthesis. The minerals and/or nutrients released by fertilizer provide needed ingredients for photosynthesis and growth to occur.
Fertilizer applied in the first years of established, transplanted trees can speed up canopy growth and help young trees fill up space in your landscape. Slow-release fertilizers are recommended for recently planted trees and shrubs.
Nutrients commonly found in fertilizers are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Other nutrients used in fairly large quantities are calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Organic fertilizers, like compost, cow manure, or fertilizer blends, provide nitrogen and other nutrients slowly. An advantage of organic fertilizers is their delivery of minor nutrients (minerals required in small amounts such as iron or zinc) not usually found in commercial fertilizers. Organic fertilizers also improve soil structure.
Soil pH should be tested annually and adjusted as needed. Generally, the best growing conditions for trees occur in soils with a pH of 6.5 to 7.0. However, some species may require more acidic or more basic soils.
Tip: If you annually fertilize your turf with a slow-release fertilizer, you will likely not need to fertilize your trees.
Read more about fertilizing trees at fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/fertilization-basics-healthier-trees
Pruning Your Trees
Typically, people will prune to improve the aesthetics of a tree by removing unwanted growth. However, trees are often pruned only to maintain a desired shape or size to fit a location. This is usually the result of a poor choice of location or because the wrong tree species was selected for that space.
The best time to prune a tree is when it is in its dormancy period, generally at the very begging of winter or just before spring. During this time, the risk of infection is minimal, and potential damage to the tree is significantly reduced. Consider the following when pruning a tree:
- Always prune with purpose
- Before pruning, make sure your tools are sterile
- Before starting, learn how and where to cut
- A wound is forever contained by compartmentalization within the tree, a lot of care should be applied when deciding what to prune
- Tree growth problems are best corrected when they are young. Smaller cuts do lesser damage than larger cuts.
When trees are damaged by a storm or suffer damages from illnesses and infestations, prune to remove affected limbs.
Watch this video to see pruning best practices.
Note: When in doubt about pruning, hire a professional tree service to evaluate your tree and do the pruning for you.
Read more about pruning and caring for young trees at fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/3-tips-young-trees-pruning-tree-care-protection
Caring for Trees
In this article, you discovered tips to help your trees thrive from the time they are planted through their maturity.
By knowing how to provide proper care for your trees, you are giving them the chance to live a long, sturdy life.
When you plant a tree and simply let it be, you create the risk for abnormal growth, diseases, and insect infestations that can weaken and quickly kill your tree.
Prevent your storm-damaged tree from dying or falling and causing catastrophic property damages. By knowing how to help and repair your tree after suffering storm damages, you can potentially avoid the need for its removal.
fasttreeremovalatlanta.com gathered the following information on how to assess tree damage, treat a damaged tree, determine when a tree should be removed, and what you can do to prevent tree storm damage.
Assessing Tree Storm Damage
Before determining that your tree is beyond saving, assess the tree by asking the following six questions about the visible state of the tree.
Question #1 – Are the tree’s largest limbs damaged or broken?
Recommendation – If your tree has lost its largest or a majority of its limbs, it will likely not survive. Consider contracting a professional tree service to remove the tree.
Question #2 – Was the leader (the main upward extension of the trunk) lost in the storm?
Recommendation – This is a judgment call on your part. Your tree may survive losing its leader but will likely grow deformed and/or stunted.
Question #3 – Has the tree lost more than 30% of its crown?
Recommendation – When a tree loses more than 30% of its crown, there may not be enough foliage left to provide nourishment to it. Trees in this situation need to be closely monitored and removed if there is no evidence of recovery in the following growing season.
Question #4 – Looking at the damaged crown, can you identify enough healthy branches that can reconstitute both branch structure and crown foliage.
Recommendation – If the answer is yes, allow the tree several growing seasons to “fill out” the crown. If the tree declines and cannot rebound from its damages, you will know that the answer was no.
Question #5 – Is there extensive bark damage?
Recommendation – In cases where there are multiple areas of bark damage on the trunk and/or larger branches, disease and insect infestation are of significant concern. Read more about how you can treat bark damage at fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/handling-tree-bark-damage
Question #6 – Is your tree healthy?
Recommendation – If your tree was already in decline (from disease or infestation) before suffering storm damage, you should immediately request a tree hazard assessment. If the tree was healthy, thriving, and did not suffer extreme damages, it should recover if cared for after the storm.
Note: Before determining the fate of your tree, take into consideration that, after sustaining weather-related damages, healthy trees will typically go through a phase of rapid growth over several growing seasons.
Tip: If at any time you experience difficulty in determining whether or not to keep your tree, request a tree hazard assessment by a professional tree service.
How To Treat Tree Storm Damage
After any severe weather event, your tree(s) should be examined for damages. Once you have clearly identified damaged areas of your tree, consider the following:
- Prune damaged limbs back, at least one foot before the damage towards the trunk
- Prune the limb/branch off the tree if the damages are too close to the trunk
If there is significant structural damage to the trunk, including splits and/or cracks, a professional tree service should be hired to remove the tree. This type of damage is dangerous and holds the potential to quickly turn life-threatening.
Continue to promote the health of a damaged tree through:
- Seasonal Pruning
- Annual Inspections
Providing your tree with the means to thrive will help it overcome most weather damage on its own.
Emergency Tree Removal After Storm Damage
When severe weather leaves your tree swaying, leaning, caused windsnap (broken off at the trunk), or windthrow (uprooted and blown over), the tree should be removed from your property immediately. To learn more about or contract an emergency tree removal service, visit fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/emergency-tree-removal-atlanta
Note: For trees planted in rows, the emergency removal of any one of those trees may cause adjacent trees to lose their stability. Trees planted near one another will frequently use each other’s root plate for shared stability. Trees growing under these conditions must be professionally evaluated before their removal.
How To Prevent Tree Storm Damage
Controlling the impact of weather is possible in small scale scenarios. Objects and structures like walls, buildings, fences, hills, and shrubs can shield a tree from being severely damaged. It is when nature unleashes severe weather systems that a tree is truly put to the test.
Instead of relying on reactive treatment for damages, you can dramatically increase your tree’s strengths by being proactive and supporting its health before severe weather strikes. Consider the following measures to improve the vitality of your tree:
- Seasonal Pruning
- Annual Inspections
Note: These are the same measures you would use to promote a tree’s health after suffering significant weather-related damages.
Storm Damaged Tree
In this article, you discovered how to assess tree damages after a severe weather event, treat the damages, keep or remove the tree, and how to prevent weather damage.
By knowing how to identify and treat storm damage to trees, you can significantly extend their lifespan while substantially increasing their resistance.
Ignoring your trees after severe weather events creates the perfect environment for catastrophic property damages and potential fatalities.
Keep your evergreen trees from dying and spreading killer diseases. By knowing what to look for and how to stop evergreen tree diseases, you can save your trees or have them removed.
fasttreeremovalatlanta.com gathered the following information, symptoms, and treatment for pathogens that attack, weaken, and kill evergreen trees.
Diplodia (Sphaeropsis) Blight
Diplodia sapinea is the opportunistic fungal pathogen responsible for this disease. It affects various 2 and 3 needle pines and conifers. Especially susceptible are red pine, Mugo pine, Scots pine, Ponderosa pine, and Austrian pine. Diplodia blight infects trees of all ages, but higher infection rates are found among trees weakened by drought, infestation, and nutrient deficiencies.
Symptoms of Diplodia Blight – This disease is common among conifers, pines in particular. Signs that indicate a Diplodia blight infection include:
- Stunted, brown needles and stems
- Dying, tan-colored, young needles remain attached
- Pollen cones and mature needles appear uninfected
- Root collar rot in younger trees
- Root disease
- Small, black fruiting structures
In severe cases, entire branches can become infected. Resinous cankers may also form on the stems and trunk of the tree.
During late summer and fall, this disease produces pycnidia (fruiting bodies). Pycnidia are found near the base of needles, on scales of seed cones, or on tree bark. The presence of these fruiting structures, together with other symptoms, is compelling evidence that Diplodia blight has infected your tree.
Treatment of Diplodia Blight – Once a Diplodia blight infection is confirmed, the following management measures should be taken:
- Remove and destroy debris from the base of the tree
- Maintain grass and weeds below the tree trimmed low to the ground (increases airflow)
- Carefully prune out and destroy infected stems and branches (each fruiting structure may contain thousands of spores)
- Apply chemical controls beginning in the spring and every two weeks until new needle growth reaches full length.
If using chemical control, the following chemicals have shown to be quite effective in controlling this disease:
- Copper hydroxide with mancozeb
Prevention of Diplodia Blight – Ways to prevent your trees from contracting Diplodia blight include:
- Plant disease-free trees and shrubs
- Plant disease-resistant species
- Plant your trees far enough from others to maintain good airflow
- Eliminate overhead watering practices
- Care for your trees and encourage healthy growth (water, soil, fertilizer, etc.)
- Prune and cut with sanitized equipment
- Treat your trees preemptively against boring insects
When your tree is more than 25% infected, or the top portion of it has died, call a professional tree service to evaluate the damage and recommend a course of action. If you prune away a quarter of your tree, it will likely die. At this point, removal may be the only option to protect the rest of your landscape.
Cytospora Canker of Spruce
Leucostoma kunzei is the fungal pathogen responsible for this disease. Cytospora canker affects black, Oriental, white, Norway, and, most notably, Colorado blue spruce varieties. Cytospora canker occurs most often on mature landscape trees stressed by drought or poor care conditions.
Symptoms of Cytospora Canker – This disease is common among varieties of spruce trees. Signs that indicate a cytospora canker infection include:
- Lower branch dieback
- Poor growth
- Faded or brown needles
- Large amounts of resin flow on affected/dying branches
- Cut the branch to reveal reddish-brown soaked wood
- Small, black fruiting structures
Cytospora canker diseased trees, in decline, will often present the following additional indicators:
- Bark beetle infestation (confirmed by pitch tubes, boring dust, exit holes, galleries beneath the bark, and fast-paced decline from the top-down)
- Spruce spider mites (can cause severe damage)
- Pine needle scale
- Spruce bud scale
As the health of a diseased tree declines, it can be successfully attacked by multiple insect species, making its decline and death an accelerated process.
Treatment of Cytospora Canker – Once a cytospora canker infection is confirmed, the following management measures should be taken:
- Carefully pruning out diseased limbs is the only effective treatment for cytospora canker
- Prune in late winter or dry weather to prevent spreading the disease
- Destroy pruned, infected branches
Tip: Once a tree is infected with cytospora canker, fungicide sprays will have no effect on the disease and will not cure the affected tree.
Prevention of Cytospora Canker – Ways to prevent your trees from contracting cytospora canker include:
- Plant disease-free trees and shrubs
- Plant disease-resistant species
- Plant your trees far enough from others to maintain good airflow
- Care for your trees and encourage healthy growth (water, soil, fertilizer, etc.)
- Increase watering intervals during times of drought
- Have your trees inspected annually to detect any health or insect problems (spider mites, bagworms, etc.)
- Have severely infected trees (dying or dead) promptly removed and destroyed to slow the disease from spreading and eliminate breeding sites for boring insects
When your tree is infected by a disease and infested by boring insects, call a professional tree service to either treat or remove the tree.
Cercospora Blight of Junipers
Pseudo-Cercospora juniperi is the fungus responsible for this disease. Cercospora blight of junipers affects the Cupressaceae (cypress) family, which includes multiple species of junipers and redwoods. Cercospora blight spreads to young foliage in warm, wet weather and can cause a tree to show signs of infection within two to three weeks.
Symptoms of Cercospora Blight of Junipers – This disease is common among varieties of junipers, redwoods, arborvitae, and Eastern red cedar. Signs that indicate a Cercospora blight infection include:
- Lower branch dieback (foliage turns bronze or light brown then gray)
- Inner foliage death occurs first as the disease works outward then upward
- Small fuzzy fruiting structures appear on the dead foliage
Eventually, the dead foliage falls from the tree leaving the inner branches stripped of any foliage or twigs. In advanced cases, the outer foliage also dies off, leaving only the foliage at the very top of the tree.
It is the green (seemingly unaffected) foliage at the end of affected branches that differentiate this pathogen from other blight causing diseases that kill from the infection or canker site out to the tip.
Treatment of Cercospora Blight of Junipers – Once a Cercospora blight infection is confirmed, the following management measures should be taken:
- Apply a liquid or wettable powder fungicide (copper fungicides are recommended) to the lower branches of trees with minor infection evidence. Spray all of the tree’s foliage for heavily infected specimens. Spray the trees in the beginning, middle, and again at the end of the summer season.
- For trees with advanced symptoms of infection (fifty percent or more of the foliage), consider having the tree removed and destroyed to protect other trees on your landscape.
- Carefully remove and destroy dead foliage and twigs from beneath infected trees.
During periods of drought, eliminate all overhead or spray methods of watering. The spread of Cercospora blight depends partly on splashing water and warmth.
Prevention of Cercospora Blight of Junipers – Once a Cercospora blight infection is confirmed, the following preventative measures should be taken:
- Plant disease-free tree species
- Plant disease-resistant species
- Plant your trees far enough from others to maintain good airflow
- Care for your trees and encourage healthy growth (water, soil, fertilizer, etc.)
- Keep grass and shrubbery (surrounding the tree) cut low enough to permit free airflow
- Have your trees inspected annually for early detection of potential issues
Have heavily infected trees removed and destroyed by a professional tree service. As the tree’s health declines, it becomes a target for insect infestations and other infections.
Evergreen Tree Disease Identification
Part of an evergreen tree’s growth process includes the occasional needle or leaf drop. During times of drought, a tree may lose more of its foliage than normal, appearing to be sick.
Some insect infestations like bagworms, mites, beetles, and scale can cause chlorosis and leaf drop that appears to be an infection versus an infestation.
When you cannot positively identify whether or not your tree has contracted a disease, call a professional tree service to help you figure out what is happening.
How To Identify and Treat Evergreen Diseases
In this article, you discovered evergreen tree disease information, the symptoms to watch for, and how to treat pathogens that weaken and kill evergreens.
By knowing what to look for and how to treat tree diseases, you can take prompt action to either save your tree or have it removed.
When you ignore the signs of evergreen tree infections, you risk not only losing your tree but spreading the disease to other trees on your landscape.
Prevent your trees from becoming severe risks to your property and wellbeing. By knowing how to care for your trees, you can keep them thriving for decades.
fasttreeremovalatlanta.com gathered the following information to assist you in caring for your trees from the time you plant them until their maturity and beyond.
Tree Care – Planting
Placing “the right tree in the right place” is your first act of caring for your tree and will determine much of how the tree grows and whether you will have years of joy and shade or multiple problems and expenses. Consider the following information when selecting the species and location of your tree:
Tree Species – When selecting the species of the tree you’d like to plant, the following will help you choose the right species:
- Will the species tolerate your region’s hardiness zone?
- Is the species known for invasive roots?
- Is the tree an overstory or understory?
- Does the tree need full or partial sun?
- Is the tree tolerant to regional pests and diseases?
- Is the tree deciduous or evergreen?
To determine your USDA Hardiness Zone, visit planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/InteractiveMap.aspx
Tree Location – As a tree grows, it can’t get up and move if its location becomes inconvenient. When selecting a location to plant your tree, use the following to guide your decision:
- Are there power lines running over the location?
- Are there utility lines running under the location?
- Are there sidewalks, driveways, or structures nearby that could be damaged by invasive roots?
- Does the location receive full or partial sun?
- Is the location well-drained, or does water pool?
Read more about selecting a tree species and a location to plant it at fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/tree-planting-location-landscape-species
Tree Care – Watering
Lack of water can cause your tree to wilt, suffer hydraulic failure, and die. To keep your tree in outstanding health, there must be a regular watering schedule that meets the needs of the tree. The following will help you determine how often to water your tree:
- Water your tree three times per week
- One of the three should be a deep watering (this will encourage the roots to grow deep)
- Water the entire root plate (the root plate grows outward and is typically the same size as the tree’s crown)
- During times of drought or intense heat, give your tree two deep waterings per week
- When rainfall is plentiful, reduce the frequency of waterings
The soil around your tree must be well-drained. If water remains pooled after rainfall or waterings, your soil must be adjusted to allow proper draining. Reduce the frequency of waterings until the soil is improved.
Tip: The continuous application of organic mulch can help your soil structure maintain proper drainage properties.
Tree Care – Mulching
When organic mulch is applied correctly around your tree, it can improve soil quality and regulate both soil moisture and temperature. Consider the following when mulching your tree:
- Apply a layer of organic mulch 3 to 6 inches deep over the entire root plate
- Keep mulch pulled back 2 to 3 inches from the tree trunk and root flare (this will help prevent problems with decay, disease, and nesting wildlife)
- Fluff the mulch when it compresses and add more when necessary
- Remove and replace mulch when it becomes riddled with mold
Organic mulch can be from a compost pile, straw, or wood chips.
Tree Care – Fertilizing
At times, the soil around your tree may need to have its chemical composition and pH level adjusted.
For trees that grow in acidic soil, the pH level should be 6.5 or less, for those preferring a base soil, the level should be 7.5 or above. Soil with a pH of 7.0 (6.5 – 7.5) is considered neutral.
Soil pH levels can be adjusted using phosphoric acid or sulfur to make them more acidic. While 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 soil pH levels.
Frequently, the missing or deficient element in soil is nitrogen, and as such, the vast majority of fertilizers contain it.
Read more about fertilizing trees at fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/fertilization-basics-healthier-trees
Tip: Tree fertilization should be done in fall (after the growing season) or late winter (before the beginning of the next growing season)
Tree Care – Pruning
Small tree branches can be pruned whenever they present problems at any time of the year. Large branches – branches comprising over 5-10% of the tree’s crown volume – should only be pruned in winter when the tree is dormant. Trees should never be pruned in autumn since the air is filled with diseases and decay fungi.
There are many reasons to cut tree limbs; they might be diseased or dead, they could be rubbing against other limbs, or they are competing with other branches and have to be removed.
Raising or thinning the canopy is another reason for limb removal. This is done to open the canopy to more sunlight or provide additional vertical clearance.
Read more about pruning and cutting trees at fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/when-tree-pruning-cutting-emergency-removal-atlanta-ga
Annual Tree Inspections
Your tree(s) should be inspected by a professional tree service annually to detect any problems with abnormal growth, infestations, or disease.
This type of inspection is also known as a tree hazard assessment. It is used by arborists to determine whether or not any actions should be taken to improve the health and safety of the tree.
There are times when the best course of action is to remove your tree. The following may require your tree to be removed to protect your landscape and surrounding trees:
- Boring insect infestations
- Infectious tree diseases
- Severe storm damage
- Severe root damage or rot
- Leaning tree
- Root damage to surrounding structures
If you suspect that your tree should be removed, contact a professional tree service to evaluate the situation and recommend the best course of action. Sometimes, the best way to care for your trees is to eliminate the ones that could compromise the health and vigor of the others.
Caring for Trees
In this article, you discovered many ways to care for your trees from the time you plant them until their maturity.
By promoting the health of your trees, you enable them to grow strong and resist attacks by disease and insects.
Neglecting the care of your trees will lead to abnormal growth and potential death by disease and infestation.
Avoid planting a tree that could damage your home’s foundation or disrupt your region’s ecosystem. By knowing which tree species to avoid planting, you can contribute to a diverse and healthy ecosystem.
fasttreeremovalatlanta.com gathered the following information about the dangers of planting invasive trees and which species to avoid.
What Are Invasive Trees
An invasive tree species is a species that can thrive, reproduce and spread, unaided, and at alarming speeds.
The definition may also apply to the root system of a tree species. Invasive tree roots spread far and are capable of causing structural damages to sidewalks, driveways, and foundations as they grow beneath them. Also considered invasive are those roots that invade and plug up water supply and sewage lines.
List of Invasive Tree Species
When selecting a tree for your yard or landscape, you can help preserve your native ecosystem by avoiding these following tree species (Unless native to or established in your region):
• African tuliptree (Spathodea campanulata)
• Alexandrian laurel (Calophyllum inophyllum)
• Amur chokecherry (Prunus maackii)
• Amur cork tree (Phellodendron amurense)
• Amur maple (Acer ginnala)
• Antilles Calophyllum (Calophyllum antillanum)
• Apple (Malus)
• Arabian coffee (Coffea arabica)
• Arizona cypress (Cupressus arizonica Greene)
• Asian nakedwood (Colubrina Asiatica)
• Athel tamarisk (Tamarix aphylla)
• Australian almond (Terminalia muelleri)
• Australian redcedar (Toona Ciliata Roemer)
• Australian tea tree (Leptospermum laevigatum)
• Australian-pine (Casuarina equisetifolia)
• Austrian pine (Pinus nigra Arnold)
• Avocado (Persea Americana)
• Balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera)
• Bee-bee tree (Tetradium daniellii)
• Bigtooth aspen (Populus grandidentata)
• Birch-leaf pear (Pyrus betulifolia Bunge)
• Black acacia (Acacia melanoxylon)
• Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
• Black mangrove (Lumnitzera racemosa)
• Black peppermint (Eucalyptus salicifolia)
• Black wattle (Acacia mearnsii)
• Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)
• Bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis)
• Boxelder (Acer negundo)
• Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana)
• Bristly locust (Robinia hispida)
• Cabbage tree (Cordyline australis)
• California privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium)
• Camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora)
• Carrotwood (Cupaniopsis anacardioides)
• Castor aralia (Kalopanax septemlobus)
• Castor bean (Ricinus communis)
• Ceara rubber tree (Manihot glaziovii)
• Cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)
• Cherry plum (Prunus cerasifera)
• Chilean jessamine (Cestrum parqui)
• Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)
• Chinese Banyan (Ficus microcarpa)
• Chinese catalpa (Catalpa ovata)
• Chinese crab apple (Malus hupehensis)
• Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia)
• Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata)
• Chinese holly (Ilex cornuta)
• Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense)
• Chinese tallow tree (Triadica sebifera)
• Common filbert (Corylus avellana)
• Common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
• Common pear (Pyrus communis)
• Cooper’s Cyathea (Cyathea cooperi)
• Coulter pine (Pinus coulteri)
• Council tree (Ficus altissima)
• Crabapple (Malus)
• Crack willow (Salix fragilis)
• Crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)
• Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera)
• Deodar cedar (Cedrus deodara)
• Devil tree (Alstonia macrophylla)
• Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
• Earleaf acacia (Acacia auriculiformis)
• Eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides)
• Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana)
• Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)
• Fig (Ficus carica)
• English elm (Ulmus procera)
• English holly (Ilex aquifolium)
• English oak (Quercus robur)
• European aspen (Populus tremula)
• European birch (Betula pendula)
• Firetree (Morella faya)
• Flamegold (Koelreuteria elegans)
• Forest redgum (Eucalyptus tereticornis)
• Fountain palm (Livistona Chinensis)
• French tamarisk (Tamarix gallica)
• Glossy buckthorn (Frangula Alnus)
• Glossy privet (Ligustrum lucidum)
• Glossy shower (Senna surattensis)
• Golden rain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)
• Governor’s plum (Flacourtia indica)
• Gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa)
• Gray poplar (Populus x canescens)
• Guava (Psidium guajava)
• Hedge maple (Acer campestre)
• Hedionda macho (Senna septemtrionalis)
• Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
• Incense-cedar (Calocedrus decurrens)
• Indian rosewood (Dalbergia sissoo)
• Indian rubber plant (Ficus elastica)
• Italian stone pine (Pinus pinea)
• Japanese angelica (Aralia elata)
• Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica)
• Japanese cork tree (Phellodendron japonicum)
• Japanese holly (Ilex crenata)
• Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)
• Japanese privet (Ligustrum japonicum)
• Japanese yew (Taxus cuspidata)
• Java plum (Syzygium cumini)
• Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi)
• Karaka nut (Corynocarpus laevigatus)
• Large gray willow (Salix cinerea)
• Laurel willow (Salix pentandra)
• Lavalle cork tree (Phellodendron lavallei)
• Lemon (Citrus x Limon)
• Lime (Citrus x Aurantiifolia)
• Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra)
• Mango (Mangifera indica)
• Maritime pine (Pinus pinaster)
• Mayten (Maytenus boaria)
• Melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia)
• Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin)
• Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa)
• Monterey pine (Pinus radiata)
• Mountain ebony (Bauhinia variegata)
• Northern catalpa (Catalpa speciosa)
• Norway maple (Acer platanoides)
• Norway spruce (Picea abies)
• Octopus tree (Schefflera actinophylla)
• Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra)
• Oleander (Nerium oleander)
• Olive (Olea europaea)
• Orange (Citrus x Sinensis)
• Osage-orange (Maclura pomifera)
• Papaya (Carica papaya)
• Paper-mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera)
• Plum (Prunus domestica)
• Plume albizia (Paraserianthes lophantha)
• Plum leaf crabapple (Malus prunifolia)
• Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)
• Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
• Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)
• Portugal laurel (Prunus lusitanica)
• Prickly-ash (Zanthoxylum americanum)
• Princess tree (Paulownia tomentosa)
• Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)
• Queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana)
• Red bead tree (Adenanthera pavonina)
• Redbox (Eucalyptus polyanthemos)
• Redosier dogwood (Cornus sericea)
• River redgum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis)
• Rose glory bower (Clerodendrum bungei)
• Rose myrtle (Rhodomyrtus tomentosa)
• Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)
• Saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima)
• Sawtooth oak (Quercus acutissima)
• Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris)
• Sea hibiscus (Talipariti tiliaceum)
• Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila)
• Silk oak (Grevillea robusta)
• Smooth sumac (Rhus glabra)
• Sour cherry (Prunus cerasus)
• Sour orange (Citrus x Aurantium)
• Southern catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides)
• Stickbush (Clerodendrum chinense)
• Strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum)
• Sugar gum (Eucalyptus cladocalyx)
• Surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
• Swamp mahogany (Eucalyptus robusta)
• Sweet cherry (Prunus avium)
• Sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)
• Tall lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta)
• Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
• Tropical almond (Terminalia catappa)
• Trumpet tree (Cecropia palmata)
• Tung oil tree (Vernicia fordii)
• Vinegar tree (Lophostemon confertus)
• Wayfaring tree (Viburnum lantana)
• Weeping willow (Salix babylonica)
• White lead tree (Leucaena leucocephala)
• White mulberry (Morus alba)
• White poplar (Populus alba)
• White willow (Salix alba)
• Willow (Salix spp.)
• Woman’s tongue (Albizia lebbeck)
Note: Native tree species have not evolved alongside these trees and have difficulty competing with them.
To learn how to select the proper planting location and tree species, visit fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/tree-planting-location-landscape-species
In this article, you discovered information about invasive tree species and the dangers they pose to native ecosystems.
When you avoid planting invasive tree species, you are protecting the native ecosystem of your region.
By planting non-native, invasive tree species, you are recklessly endangering the ecological integrity and biological diversity of your region.
Your dead or dying trees could become severe hazards capable of causing catastrophic damage to your property. Knowing why your trees are getting sick and dying will help you take action to either save them or remove them.
fasttreeremovalatlanta.com gathered the following information to help you uncover the many reasons your trees may appear to be dying or already dead and what to do with them.
What Is Making My Trees Sick?
Your trees may be under stress or dying from a variety of conditions. For some of the following, the situation can be reversed, for others, tree removal may be necessary for the protection of the surrounding trees and landscape:
Drought – Trees are capable of resisting disease-causing organisms and insect infestations when they are sufficiently hydrated. During times of drought, trees, shrubs, and plants use up water stored in the soil.
If this water is not replenished, trees will begin to display the following signs:
• Unseasonal leaf drop
• Insect infestation
• Fungal growth
It is essential to note that the above signs of illness or infestation typically appear after years of stress being applied to a tree’s health.
Unseasonable Heat – With global average temperatures on the rise and in many regions, longer summer seasons, heat may cause trees to lose the ability to evaporate enough water to cool their leaves.
When trees cannot meet their cooling needs, the result is leaf damage and additional stress to the tree’s health. This condition often causes early leaf drop in deciduous species and mortality in conifers.
Note: In small doses over long periods, trees are extremely capable of adapting to evolving conditions. However, at the rate temperatures are on the rise globally, trees are unable to keep up. Those trees found on the cusp of their hardiness zone are usually the first to develop symptoms of “overheating”.
Boring Insects – These insects have mastered their attack on trees to the point that by the time you recognize signs of infestation, the insects have likely moved on to a new host. Boring insects like beetles tend to successfully attack trees already stressed by heat, drought, and other factors. Signs of a boring insect infestation include:
• Entry/Exit holes in the trunk, branches, or stems
• Foliage wilting or loss on specific branches or stems
• Branch or stem death on an otherwise healthy-looking tree
• Visual identification of the insect
Due to the destructive nature of boring insects, an arborist must be hired to inspect the tree, perform a hazard assessment, and evaluate the risk to the surrounding environment.
Read more about beetle damage and treatment at fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/ambrosia-beetle-damage-treatment
Disease – When trees are infected by a disease, they can take years to show symptoms, and by then, it may be too late to save the tree. This depends on the health of the tree when it was successfully attacked, the tree’s capacity to compartmentalize diseased tissue, and how the tree was infected.
Pathogens that attack trees through their roots are fast-acting and can cause hydraulic failure and death in a fraction of the time others may take.
Diseases that frequently attack trees include:
• Armillaria root rot
• Dothistroma needle blight
• Oak wilt
• Phytophthora diseases
• Blight diseases
• Cytospora (Cankers)
Some pathogens like the ambrosia fungi are carried from tree to tree by boring insects. If successfully attacked, the tree now hosts a boring insect infestation and the disease it brought with it. Coupled with an already weakened state, such trees are likely to show symptoms, decline, and die fairly quickly.
Note: Tree roots weakened/stunted by drought or root rot (poorly drained soil) are most susceptible to successful pathogen attacks, such as Armillaria root rot.
Poor Tree Care – In some instances, a tree’s health can be weakened by the actions meant to boost its health. Consider the following:
• Poor pruning practices
• Using unsterilized equipment
• Water-logging the soil
• Herbicide application (to kill weeds) too close to the root plate or on the tree
• Volcano mulching
Read more about tree pruning, cutting, and removal at fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/when-tree-pruning-cutting-emergency-removal-atlanta-ga
When a tree suddenly dies, it is likely due to multiple factors (drought, infestation, disease, unseasonable heat, etc.) causing hydraulic failure within the tree. Visit fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/how-do-i-know-if-my-tree-dying to discover what other signs to watch for when a tree’s health is declining.
Trees Eventually Die
For as much as we love and care for our trees, they are not immortal. It is normal for trees to grow old and die. Many fruit trees have a lifespan limited to decades, while some species may persist for hundreds or thousands of years. You can give your tree its best shot at a long life by:
• Planting an appropriate species for the region
• Planting it well within its hardiness zone
• Planting it in the right location*
• Providing the correct balance of nutrients
• Providing sufficient water (especially in times of drought)
• Using proper organic mulching techniques
• Using proper pruning methods with sterilized equipment
* The importance of planting a tree in the proper location cannot be overstated. The roots need space to grow and develop unobstructed. The tree’s canopy should be free from obstruction (especially from any power lines above).
If and when the time comes to have your tree removed, call a professional tree service to have it safely brought down, especially if it is infested or diseased. This will help you save any neighboring trees, shrubs, and plants from being infected or infested by whatever killed your tree.
My Trees Are Dying
In this article, you discovered several reasons that can lead to the death of your tree(s), and what to do with them.
By recognizing the signs of disease and infestation, and taking action, you can potentially save your tree. At the very least, you can make informed decisions on what needs to be done.
When you ignore the signs of an ailing tree, you place your property, vehicles, and even your well-being at grave risk if the tree topples.
Are you concerned about the meaning and impact of dead branches on your tree? By knowing how and when to cut dead branches off of your tree, you can help it remain healthy and vibrant.
fasttreeremovalatlanta.com gathered the following tips and information about cutting dead branches off of your tree and the impact it can have on your tree’s health.
Does Cutting Off Dead Branches Help a Tree?
Yes, cutting off or pruning dead branches helps a tree in a multitude of ways. The act of pruning dead branches and growth also adds to the safety of the tree and its surroundings.
When Is The Right Time To Prune Branches
The right time to prune branches depends on which ones you are pruning and for what reason. For dead, dying, or broken branches, observe the following:
• There is no wrong time. Dead or dying branches pose a considerable health risk to the tree and should be removed when detected.
• When a branch dies, there is no sap running through it, thus minimizing the risk of oozing sap after its removal.
Tip: When removing an entire branch, alive or dead, it should be pruned all the way back to the branch collar (the bulging bark where the branch meets the trunk). The cut should be made flat and smooth without causing damage to the branch collar, which will eventually move in over the wound and seal it.
For live branches, the rules change:
• To remove or prune live and healthy branches, it is recommended to do so at the end of the growing season, during a tree’s dormancy cycle, or before budding at the beginning of the next growing season.
• This pruning may be done to shape the tree, thin the crown, encourage new spring growth, and many other reasons.
• Pruning these branches during the growing season can invite a host of insects and disease to the tree, potentially leading to compromised health and the eventual death of the tree.
Tip: Uncover further information about the right time(s) to prune your trees by reading fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/when-tree-pruning-cutting-emergency-removal-atlanta-ga
Tree Safety Concerns
As a branch dies, all of the twigs attached to it and the branch itself will become a hazard to whatever is below it. Dead limbs will:
• Rot from the smaller diameter parts first
• As the larger diameter parts rot, they begin to fall
• Injure other limbs as they fall
• Become a substantial threat to whatever is below, as some may weigh several hundred pounds
When these limbs are located over driveways, garages, sheds, and homes, they are capable of causing catastrophic damages and should be removed promptly.
Tip: Once per month, take the time to examine your tree canopy. Be on the lookout for dying, dead, or rotting branches. Once identified, look below it to see what may be in the path of the limb if/when it falls.
Tree Disease and Insect Infestation Concerns
Over several millennia, trees have developed magnificent defensive systems against insect infestations and disease. However, a dead branch is a defenseless open invitation to insects and diseases.
While the healthy parts of the tree can effectively repel these intruders, all it takes is a single successful attack to compromise the health of the rest of the tree.
Tip: If you detect carpenter ants, beetles, mushrooms, or any strange growth on a dying or dead branch, contact a professional tree service. They can evaluate the situation and recommend a course of action to remedy the situation.
Why Does My Tree Have Dead Branches?
As a tree grows, there are many reasons that a particular branch may die while the rest of the tree flourishes. The following are some of the reasons a tree may have dead branches:
1. The branch may not get enough sunlight. This may trigger the tree to compartmentalize and eventually shed the branch.
2. There may be an insect infestation in that branch which has compromised the flow of water and nutrients (hydraulic failure).
3. Bark damage on the trunk may also cause hydraulic failure and the death of the branch.
4. Rope and wire used to hang swings, bird feeders, clotheslines, etc. may damage the branch bark enough to girdle the branch, causing hydraulic failure.
5. Severe weather events may cause a branch to crack. This damage may not be apparent until the branch begins to die.
6. Many diseases may cause individual branches, entire sections, or the whole tree to die. Many of these diseases enter the tree through the root system, while others can infect damaged bark or poorly pruned branches.
Tip: When a branch, two inches in diameter or greater, dies on an otherwise healthy tree, call a professional tree service. They can fully evaluate the tree and recommend a course of action (if required).
Help Your Tree By Removing Dead Branches
In this article, you discovered why dead branches should be removed from your tree, tips to help you do it right, and the impact pruning or cutting branches can have on your tree’s health.
By taking action when dead branches are identified, you minimize the many risks they pose to the tree and its surroundings.
When you allow dying or dead branches to remain in a tree, you subsequently expose the tree to infestation and disease while creating a hazard for people, objects, and structures below.
extension.unl.edu/statewide/platte/Tree Pruning FAQs.pdf
You can plant, grow, and care for hardy giant hibiscus with ease. This fast-growing species is easy to plant and grow as a privacy screen, large shrub, or small tree.
fasttreeremovalatlanta.com gathered the following information on the hardy giant hibiscus species, planting, growing, and care tips, and its susceptibility to insects and diseases.
Hardy Giant Hibiscus Planting and Maintenance
This shrub could easily be considered one of the easiest to plant and maintain. The species is tolerant of a variety of soils and pH levels. When planting a giant hibiscus, use the following as a guide:
• Plant during early spring or fall
• Species can be planted in full sun or partial shade garden spots, groupings, or inline as hedges/screens
• The species can handle areas with constant or strong wind
• Plant in well-drained sandy, loam, or clay soil
• The hole should be as deep as the root ball and three times as wide
• Add compost and mulch immediately after planting
• Water regularly, increasing the number of waterings during periods of drought
The following will help you keep your specimen growing healthy:
• Add compost and mulch each spring
• Prune only in late winter or early spring (before new growth emerges)
• Cut back old, weak, or dead branches (encourages new growth and larger flowers)
• Continue a regular watering schedule with increased intervals when rainfall is below one-inch per week.
Hardy Giant Hibiscus Species Information
Tree Name – Rose of Sharon (aka Giant Hibiscus or Shrub Althea)
Scientific Name/Species – Hibiscus syriacus
Family – Malvaceae
Genus – Hibiscus
Nickname(s) – Korean rose (South Korea), Rose of Sharon (North America), Syrian Ketmia, Shrub Althea, and Rose Mallow (in the UK).
National Flower – South Korea.
Hibiscus in History – This species is mentioned in the Bible’s Song of Solomon (2:1-2)
Lifespan – Can live up to 50 years or more when planted in optimal conditions.
Type – Deciduous.
Hardiness Zone(s) – from zone 5b to zone 9a
Soil Requirements – Prefers well-drained, slightly acidic to acidic, moist, rich, and fertile soil with full sun exposure.
Planting Spacing – 2 to 3ft apart to create a hedge.
Watering Requirements – Regular when young or planted. Minimal after that.
Height – 8 to 12ft on average
DBH – Grows multiple trunks unless pruned to create a single-trunked specimen tree.
Crown Span – 6 to 10ft or more at maturity.
Root Spread – Located just below the soil and may spread far beyond the tree’s canopy.
Uses in Landscaping – Rose of Sharon can be planted as a tall hedge/screen, pruned to be a single-trunked specimen tree, or planted as a garden border.
Winter/Fall Colors – Yellow before leaf-drop in the fall.
Flowers – Mature, healthy specimens can bloom continuously from late spring through early fall. Its five-petaled bell-shaped flowers (up to three inches in diameter) in white, red, purple, violet, mauve, or blue, or in dual colors with a different colored throat, depending on the cultivar. Extending from the base of the flower’s five petals is a pistil at the center, with the stamen around it.
If you’re looking for other colorful plants, check out these blooming shrubs – fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/5-blooming-shrubs-landscape-garden
Hardy Giant Hibiscus Pest and Disease Problems
The Hibiscus syriacus species have problems with very few pests or diseases, they are vigorous and highly resistant when planted in optimal conditions. The pests that can pose a problem are:
• Japanese Beetles
• Spider Mites
Some of the diseases that may attack the species include:
• Powdery Mildew
• Gray Mold
• Leaf Spots
These pests and diseases can be treated with commercially available sprays and dusts. However, the following will help prevent contamination and spreading of pathogens:
• Planting disease- and pest-resistant species
• Avoiding overhead watering
• Allowing sufficient air circulation around and through the plant
• Deadheading spent flowers (removing them)
• Removing dead, infested, or diseased plant material
Read more about disease prevention for trees and shrubs at fasttreeremovalatlanta.com/5-tree-shrub-disease-prevention-tips
Note: Upon the detection or suspicion of any beetle infestation, it is highly recommended to call a professional tree service to evaluate the situation and recommend a swift course of action.
Hardy Giant Hibiscus
In this article, you discovered information about the hardy giant hibiscus (rose of Sharon) species, how to plant and care for it, and the insects and diseases that adversely affect it.
By correctly planting and caring for your giant Hibiscus plants, you are providing the species with what it needs to flourish for decades.
By ignoring or overlooking signs of infestation or disease, you may allow insects and disease to weaken the health of your Rose of Sharon, and eventually kill them.
The original post Planting, Growing, and Caring for Hardy Giant Hibiscus (Rose of Sharon) appeared first on http://www.fasttreeremovalatlanta.com
You can prevent your cut Christmas tree from dying prematurely. By taking a few simple steps, you can make it last weeks longer than expected. With some easy care, a cut tree can stay fresh and beautiful while lasting well into the new year.
fasttreeremovalatlanta.com gathered the best care tips to keep your live Christmas tree from drying out, looking ugly, and becoming a fire hazard.
Buying A Healthy Christmas Tree
Caring for a live Christmas tree starts with the selection of a healthy tree. If you choose to buy a tree from a roadside lot, a pop-up lot, or a garden store, the tree has likely traveled a great distance and been exposed to drying wind and sun throughout its journey.
To get the freshest tree possible, look up the nearest Christmas tree farm or “Cut your own” tree farm. In either case, the following tips will help you select the ideal Christmas tree:
• Select from trees in shady areas. Cut trees exposed to the sun will have already lost significant moisture.
• Look for a robust, full, and green tree with minimal brown needles.
• Feel the branches. The needles should feel pliable and the branches flexible.
• Inspect the tree branches and needles for insects and boring insect holes in the trunk.
• Lift the tree and drop it on its trunk. Minimal needles should fall from the tree.
• Have the vendor mechanically shake the tree to get rid of dead or dried needles.
• Have the vendor cut one inch off the bottom of the trunk and wrap it (if you have the tools at home to do this safely, wait until you get home).
Tip: When transporting your tree, it should be wrapped and protected as much as possible from the wind and sun. If you are going to tie it to the top of a vehicle, the trunk should be facing forward to avoid stressing the branches and needles.
Watering Your Christmas Tree
The most significant help you can give your tree is making sure it has water to “drink.” Display your tree in a reservoir type stand, this is the most effective way of maintaining its freshness and minimizing needle loss. The following will help you keep your tree adequately watered throughout the holiday season:
• The trunk should be cut straight across for maximum water absorption.
• The stand should fit your tree. Don’t whittle the sides or remove the bark to make it fit, as this removes the xylem and phloem needed to absorb water.
• The stand should be filled with 1 quart of water per inch of trunk diameter and maintained at this level with the base of the trunk fully submerged.
• Check the water level daily to ensure that it does not fall below the base of the tree.
• Use plain, room-temperature tap water.
If you choose not to set the tree up in the house immediately, you can store it in a cool, dark place, like your garage. Place the base of the tree in water to keep it fresh.
Note: When a cut tree doesn’t drink water, it is likely due to dried resin (sap) where the trunk was cut. In most cases, this is resolved by making another cut, one inch above the original cut, and getting the tree into water immediately after making the cut.
Choosing Your Christmas Tree Location
By safeguarding your Christmas tree from heat sources, you can significantly slow the tree’s drying process. Some common heat sources to avoid include:
• Space Heaters
• Heat Vents
• Direct Sunlight
• Ceiling or Wall-Mounted Light Fixtures
Tip: By lowering the average room temperature by a few degrees, you can slow down the drying process. The tree, in turn, will consume less water.
Decorating Your Christmas Tree
When you decorate your tree, avoid piling on the decorations. The following will guide you through the decorating process for a safer and more stable tree.
Christmas Tree Lighting – Use lights that produce minimal heat. Miniature lights and led lights will reduce the drying of the tree significantly.
Before putting anything electrical on the tree, inspect all of the wiring. If you find loose connections or frayed wires that are not easily repaired, discard, and replace them.
Do not allow any wiring, lights, or electronic decorations near the base of the tree. Water and electricity can be a deadly combination.
Avoid overloading electrical circuits and outlets. If your tree lights are not on a timer, be sure to turn them off when leaving your home or going to bed.
Tip: A popular method of Christmas tree lighting includes wrapping one strand of lights deep in the tree (close to the trunk) and a second strand weaving from the middle to the extremities of the tree. Led lights make this lighting method possible without accelerating the drying process.
Christmas Tree Decorations – Use lightweight decorations that hook or fasten to branches easily. As a general rule, if an ornament causes a branch to sag or bend over, it is too heavy for that branch.
As your tree ages and dries, its branches may become brittle and unable to support the weight of heavy ornaments.
Tip: Larger or heavier ornaments should be fastened to the lower branches of the tree. Those branches are sturdier and can handle a heavier load. If the ornament causes those branches to bend, repurpose the ornament or put it away till next year.
Taking Down Your Christmas Tree
When the holidays are over, and you decide to take your tree down, the question becomes; What do I do with it? The following are recycling and disposal ideas for your consideration:
• Most municipalities across the country offer Christmas tree pickup services or recycling programs that begin after Christmas and run through mid to late January. Check your city’s or disposal service’s website for pickup times and further instructions.
• Add the tree to your compost pile. You may need to cut it into small segments.
• Cut off the branches and lay them flat in garden beds as mulch. By mid to late spring, the needles will have fallen off, and the twigs can be added to your compost pile.
• Submerge the tree in a pond (if you have access and permission to do so). The slowly decomposing tree will provide years of added structure to the pond and become a feeding refuge for fish.
• Turn the tree into a bird feeder. Place the tree in the garden or corner of your landscape and decorate it with strung popcorn and/or peanut butter and birdseed covered pinecones. Local birds will use the tree for refuge while migrating birds may use it for a resting location.
Tip: If your tree dries out and becomes brittle at any time, carefully remove all of the decorations and lighting, and remove it from your home. Once your tree has dried out, it becomes an extreme fire hazard.
Live Christmas Tree Care
In this article, you discovered care tips to prolong your cut Christmas tree’s freshness, how to keep it beautifully decorated, and prevent it from becoming a fire hazard.
By taking simple measures to keep your live Christmas tree fresh, you can maximize your investment and enjoy the beauty of your tree well into the new year.
Your inaction could lead to your tree drying out, becoming a fire hazard, and causing a deadly house fire.