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Winter Pruning

Prune in Winter, Reduce the Spread of Oak Wilt Winter is a food time for tree pruning, according to state forestry specialists, who say winter pruning greatly reduces the likelihood of spreading oak wilt and other tree diseases, and it also minimizes pruning stress on trees. "The best time to prune trees in Wisconsin is during winter when a tree is dormant," according to Don Kissinger, an urban forester with the Department of Natural Resources. "Insects and diseases that could attack an open wound on a pruned tree aren't active in winter. And without leaves, broken, cracked or hanging limbs and branch structure are easy to see and prune." Timing is especially critical for pruning oak trees in order to limit the spread of oak wilt, a devastating fungal disease of oaks that has been present in the state for probably a century or longer. Oak wilt fungus spreads from tree to tree by "hitchhiking" on sap-feeding beetles that are attracted to freshly pruned or injured trees and root...

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Bumps in the Night

Do your trees go bump in the night? Branches rubbing on the house or roof are an indication that a tree needs pruning. If left unpruned, this situation can cause damage not only to your house, but to your tree as well. Pruning for house clearance typically removes branches that are within 5 to 10 feet of the house or roof. This distance provides clearance for several years or more. This time frame can vary with the tree species, vigor, and distance of the tree from the house. The presence of deadwood in a tree is the other most common pruning need people notice. Deadwood is and should be one of the first things pruned out to improve tree health, safety, appearance, structure, and to prolong life. Removal of deadwood is usually noted by diameter size, for example, 1/2", 1", 2" diameter branches and larger. House clearance and deadwood pruning are good steps in your tree maintenance. Other pruning may also be appropriate. Winter is a great time to do this pruning. We can easi...

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John Gall Village Forester

Since the spring of 2008, Wachtel has been performing the duties of Village Forester for the Village of Fox Point. John Gall is using his 20 years of municipal experience to work with the village four to six hours per week. We are able to provide technical skills without the village having to hire a full-time person. As a result, Fox Point can save money and still have years of experience at work. John is using his skills to keep the street trees healthy and to protect the sensitive bluff areas running through the Village. By Jeff Wilson Wachtel Tree Science Certified Arborist #IL0099a

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It is not to late to mulch. If your mulch is thin at the base of plants, top dress before winter. Mulch will insulate the roots, moderating temperature extremes; maintain soil moisture and control weeds next season. Long term as mulches biodegrade they add organic matter to the soil, building better soils. Proper mulching is one of the best things we can do for our trees. Keep mulch about two inches away from the trunks and stems, mulch the soil and root system – not the trunk! By Bill Reichenbach Wachtel Tree Science Certified Arborist WI-0188

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Fall Tree Care Very Helpful after Summer's Heat Stress

Heat Stress This has been a tough summer for trees. The extended periods of extreme heat that we have experienced this year have stressed some trees and made them more susceptible to problems. High temperatures can have a detrimental effect on trees growing in tough sites or those with damaged vascular systems. Trees cool themselves through transpiration, a process where water is released from the leaves as water vapor. This is similar to the way we transpire water to cool our bodies when we sweat. As temperatures rise, water vapor is released through small pores in leaf surfaces. Even though trees have mechanisms to regulate water loss, water can evaporate from the leaves faster than it can be replaced. Even with sufficient soil moisture, trees and shrubs with limited/unhealthy root systems can struggle to move enough water. Lack of available water to trees and shrubs in hot areas often results in scorched, dead or wilted leaves. Fall tree care will be very helpful this year....

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Did You Know?

Trees keep our air supply fresh by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. In one year, an acre of trees can absorb as much carbon as is produced by a car driven up to 8700 miles. Trees provide shade and shelter, reducing yearly heating and cooling costs by 2.1 billion dollars. Trees lower air temperature by evaporating water in their leaves. The average tree in metropolitan area survives only about 8 years! A tree does not reach its most productive stage of carbon storage for about 10 years. Trees cut down noise pollution by acting as sound barriers. Tree roots stabilize the soil and prevent erosion. Trees improve water quality by slowing and filtering rain water as well as protecting aquifers and watersheds. Trees provide protection from downward fall of rain, sleet, and hail as well as reduce storm run-off and the possibility of flooding, Trees provide food and shelter for wildlife. Trees located along streets act as a glare and reflection control. The...

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Investing In Tree Planting Pays Off

Homeowners and businesses investments in tree installations can reduce nearby noise 50% percent and site temperatures by as much as 9 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and American Forests, a nonprofit conservation organization. 99 out of 100 appraisers agree attractive landscaping increases the speed of home sales according to a survey conducted by the Society of Real Estate Appraisers. Submitted by Jeff Wilson Certified Arborist #IL0099A Wachtel Tree Science

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Interrupting Gypsy Moth Activity with BugBarrier

There may be three opportunities for the BugBarrier Tree Band to stop gypsy moth and interrupt its lifecycle. It can be applied anytime from early spring through mid summer. After Labor Day, however, it should be removed and a new band applied the following spring. 1) BugBarrier Tree Band applied in spring (by late April) &nbsp;&nbsp;is a protective measure to stop young larvae hatched in the lower part of the tree, or in nearby areas, from &nbsp;climbing up to feed on the foliage of uninfested trees. &nbsp;2) In the summer, during their period of peak feeding activity, gypsy moth caterpillars take frequent trips (sometimes daily) down the trunk to spend the heat of &nbsp;&nbsp;the day in the cooler understory. They then crawl back &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;up in the evening. These larvae are able to cross down over BugBarrier Tree Band to reach the ground but cannot cross the band to get back into the canopy, thereby reducing infestation levels and tree defoliation. &nbsp;3) The thir...

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Staying Power

I read a couple of dozen trade and business journals a month.&nbsp; I also have a file on my computer labeled, “Sayings.”&nbsp; Whenever I read a one or two line quote that I feel has significance with respect to how I would like to manage my personal and/or business life, I add it to my Sayings list. &nbsp;Several months ago I added the following quote of Chris Coswell’s.&nbsp; “With any service-oriented business, length in business is generally synonymous with quality of service:&nbsp; the good companies survive while the bad ones fail.”&nbsp; This struck a chord with me since Wachtel Tree Science &amp; Service was founded in 1935 and is now in its 73rd year. &nbsp;Last week as I was going through some old files I came across a few old Metro-Milwaukee Yellow Pages with notes on prices, ad size, etc.&nbsp; I thought of Coswell’s quote and decided to examine the ads and see who was still in business. &nbsp;Under the heading of Tree Service there were 27 companies listed in the...

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What Does 2010 Hold for Us?

Predicting the potential insect and disease problems for the coming year is a helpful tool that guides us in what to watch for. We pool our collective experiences and take our best guess. Here is what we will be looking for: Insects: Japanese Beetles: Their numbers will continue to increase over time! With all of the attention on EAB, this one will catch many people by surprise. This insect builds rapidly to very high numbers and can be a nuisance to people. In addition, they defoliate a wide range of plants. See our fall ‘08 issue on line at Watch for lacey looking leaves appearing during the summer. Emerald Ash Borer (EAB): Many more discoveries are sure to come this year. We still could be a year or two away from starting to see a lot of dying ash but it is coming. Two-line Chestnut Borer (oaks) and Ips Bark Beetles (conifers): These pests continue to affect a wide variety of trees. If you have been plagued with these in the past, be sure to keep up...

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Updated Website

We just uploaded numerous newsletter articles&nbsp;that weren't on the website from 2009 &amp; 2010. There are also a couple new groups on the News &amp; Resources page. You can now easily find EAB information, the 75th Anniversary winners, our plant health care calendars, and news updates. Please go and check it out! Reminder: All Wachtel Arborists are Certified!!!!&nbsp; We now have 22 Certified Arborists and 3 Board Certified Master Arborists on staff. That covers all of our production and sales staff!!!

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Why Tree Doctors Should Perform the Surgery

Wachtel Tree Science has a well-deserved reputation for saving trees and solving complex tree problems. Not every tree can or even should be saved, given its condition, age, prognosis, remaining expected lifespan, risk of failure, or ability to fulfill its purpose in the landscape. However, when it is reasonable to pursue a course of action, utilizing the various treatment regimes at our disposal, Wachtel has a proven track record that is well known. Prospects and customers usually readily agree with this assessment of Wachtel, as we are known to have the most Certified Arborists in the State, most having degrees in Arboriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Natural Resources or related fields. They put their trust in us to perform a wide variety of treatments to regain or sustain their trees’ health. I am surprised, however, how often pruning is relegated to “less competent” arborists. The reasoning given is that our expertise and “brain power” are not needed for mundan...

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February 2010 Winners

February 2010 Congratulations to Tracy Wood of Pewaukee. Tracy is the second of our yearlong monthly contest winners in our 75th Anniversary celebration. The prize for the February drawing was a $75 gift certificate to Applebee's restaurant. Our crews performed pruning of 6 trees, 11 shrubs and removal of a small tree on her property in late February. Did you know that we offer shrub pruning? We do, and winter is an excellent time of the year to prune shrubs. Remember, for every service we do at your property your name will go in for that month's drawing. This month the prize is a gift certificate for $75 at Shady Lane Greenhouse in Menomonee Falls. Shady Lane is an excellent place to purchase flowers and gifts. Wachtel Tree Science will have a booth at Shady Lane's annual open house on May 4th. Let us help you keep your property healthy and beautiful.

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Wachtel Tree Science Contest Reminder

This is a reminder that in honor of our 75th year, we'd like to extend a special thank-you offer. All customers that book $750 or more in tree pruning within the first 75 days of 2010 (January 1 - March 17), we be given a voucher for $75 to be used on a future service of any kind. There is no time limit on when the pruning needs to be done, and the voucher will be good through December 31, 2011. Be sure to send us your email through our website contact form to be able to track your chances at a prize.

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A Special Thank-You to Our Customers

Since 1935 Wachtel Tree Science has been keeping trees healthy and beautiful with the highest quality care .&nbsp; Our staff of&nbsp;3 Board Certified Master Arborists,&nbsp;more than&nbsp;20 Certified Arborists and 1 Municipal Specialist utilize the most advanced technology and best practices which enables us to provide outstanding tree care service in Southeastern Wisconsin including the countes of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington, Walworth, Jefferson, Racine, Kenosha and more.&nbsp; To&nbsp;find out&nbsp;more about Wachtel Tree Science &amp; Services Inc. visit our website at To see a list of&nbsp;our Tree Care Services Read our Emerald Ash Borer page.

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Wachtel Tree Service - Practicing the Art and Science of Tree Care

Our people set us apart: We have 3 Board Certified Master Arborists, 14 Certified Arborists and 1 Municipal Specialist on staff (most of any company in Wisconsin). Twenty of twenty-one Arborists have degrees. All told we have 4 Associate degrees, 18 Bachelors and 3 Masters. All together we have a combined experience of 381 years. Furthermore, we have 4 past-presidents of the Wisconsin Arborist Association on staff.&nbsp; Click here to check out our experienced staff. Our work sets us apart: All of our treatments are based on insect or disease life cycles for proper timing rather than a calendar based cover spray (spray everything) approach. Our approach limits spraying and preserves beneficial insects by focusing treatments at the time when control of an insect or disease can be most effective. This is part of an overall approach we use called Plant Health Care (PHC).

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Interested in having one of our qualified staff contact you about your trees and landscaping? Let us know your ZIP code and we'll let you know who's in your area.

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Specialized Services:

  • Urban Forest Management
  • Tree Preservation Planning Involving Wooded Sites
  • Corporate Campus Tree Mapping & Assessment

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  • Robert & Dorothy Miller - Mequon

    " Tree removal was recommended, we had a contract, the job was completed on Tuesday. We are very pleased, excellent team work. Thank you to Anthony."

  • John K. - Waukesha

    "Always pleased with how you keep our trees happy and healthy!  Thanks!"

Winter tree care and pruning newsletter

Seasonal Tree Care Newsletter

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