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The Elixir of Life

By: Jean Ferdinandsen Certified Arborist WI-0149A Water is the greatest component of most living things. We know how revitalizing a drink of water can be when thirsty. Water has been found to be the most limiting factor for plant growth. The results of lack of water may not show up immediately on large trees, but will be become evident in the next few years.  Tree systems shut down under dry conditions. Water uptake and photosynthesis are reduced. Fine roots desiccate and die. A dangerous spiral of decline starts.  Adequate water can stop this spiral. Most trees require the equivalent of an inch of water per week. If nature does not provide enough water, you will need to supply supplemental water. Proper watering will be crucial for your tree’s health in 2013 and the future.  Water deeply enough to soak the soil to a 6” depth and repeat only when the top 3” become dry. This promotes a deeper, healthier root system. Irrigation systems are set up prim...

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Wachtel Tree Science

The term “science” has always been in our name, and you may have wondered why. Science is a process of inquiry that allows us to test our ideas of how things might actually work. Without science, our world would be a very different place. Science has been used to land a man on the moon and cure deadly diseases. Science is a tool of human thought that allows us to observe things in a rigorous, ordered way. At Wachtel, we apply science to our analysis of your trees’ health. A simple thing like growing a healthy tree is infinitely more complex than it may appear. Imagine two trees of the same species planted in the same front lawn at the same time. After a period of time, observation may show us that one tree is much taller or has a greater diameter than the other. We apply scientific and historical knowledge to produce a theory why one tree is bigger than the other. It may be that they are different age, or one was watered and the other wasn’t, or one has a girdling root and so on…. ...

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It Is Never Just One Thing

by Bill Reichenbach – Certified Arborist WI-0188A Rarely does any one factor determine the final out come from a single event in life or in nature. It is just too complicated; so many factors come into play over the course of time that determines the final outcome. This is certainly true with trees and tree health. Trees in developed landscapes and in the forest are continually subjected to various stress factors that depending upon circumstances can lead to decline and eventual death of a tree. Tree stress may result from a natural causal agent or may be from human activity. A myriad of factors may be involved which may include, but is not limited to some of the following: Improper planting depth /  poor tree selection Nutrient poor / poorly drained / poorly aerated / compacted soils Drought Over watering / flooding Mechanical damage – physical injury Insect damage – defoliation / vectors for pathogens Disease organisms – defoliation ...

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From Our Family to Yours

    Happy holidays from our family to yours!   May the spirit of the holidays be with you through out the new year.

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Whats Your Rate of Return?

By: Jean Ferdinandsen Certified Arborist WI-0149A There is a way to increase your rate of return in today’s economy!  Invest in your trees to guarantee a strong rate of return on your tree capital investment and enhance property value. Trees provide many benefits for both our environment and society. Here are just a few of the things that trees do: Increase property values up to 20% Reduce heating and cooling costs Enhance aesthetic  beauty Reduce crime rates Provide carbon sequestration Improve air quality Assist with soil retention & stabilization Provide wildlife & bird habitat Reduce water runoff and flooding Start by planting the right tree in the right place. New trees are investments that literally grow. Proper selection allows for the greatest benefits and best chance for tree health and maturation. Once your new tree is established, proper pruning is a critical investment strategy. One of the many benefits of good pruning is...

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Do You Have Faith in Your Tree Service?

By: Jean Ferdinandsen Certified Arborist WI-0149A The old Webster’s dictionary defines faith as being firm to ones promises; contracts and of being worthy of confidence and belief. At Wachtel Tree Science, we work as a team to build and maintain your faith in us as leaders in the tree care industry. We place a strong emphasis on communication. Anyone on our staff who sees your trees, or speaks with you makes certain important matters, concerns, or information is addressed.  We have a high level of education, knowledge, and experience within Wachtel. We currently have 27 Certified Arborists and 3 Board Certified Master Arborists on staff. On going education and training is always taking place. This runs the gamut from formal course work in tree care and diagnostics to “tailgate” sessions on safety and operations.  We are proud to be one of the first tree care companies in the country accredited by the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). Ethics, quality, and...

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From Our Family to Yours By: Ellen Filley

  Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family, friends and loved ones.  Gathering around the dinner table, we enjoy the bountiful feast prepared by the family chefs.  We enjoy exciting football (Go Pack) and holiday parades. We give thanks for all of our blessings and wish for you and your family to have a wonderful and safe Holiday. For a bit of fun this week we would like to share a few trivia questions/answers on Thanksgiving.  You might want to check these out.  I tested myself and was surprised how little I knew about Thanksgiving and its traditions. THANKSGIVING TRIVIA  Questions: 1. When was the first Thanksgiving celebration?     A.  1492     B.  1567     C.  1621     D.  1777 2. What Native American tribe celebrated the first Thanksgiving     with the colonists?      A.  The Wamp...

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TRAINING PRUNING By: Jean Ferdinandsen Certified Arborist WI-0149A

The primary objective of pruning young trees is to develop a framework of sturdy, well spaced branches on a strong trunk. Good branch structure, proper form, and tree strength all develop with training pruning. Pruning done early in a tree’s life removes weak branches and corrects form when branches are relatively small. This reduces the size of pruning wounds, which results in faster closure and less opportunity for decay. Properly pruned and trained trees will live significantly longer; are healthier; require less corrective pruning later. They will also be less susceptible to storm damage due to improved structure, and are therefore safer. Pruning is especially critical in the first 15-20 years of a trees life. The pruning cycle should begin 2-3 years after planting and be done at regular intervals. The pruning process removes portions of the tree to correct or maintain tree structure and form. Every cut has the potential to change the growth of the tree.  ...

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Your Trees are Dormant in Winter - Our Arborists are Not

By Jeff Wilson, Certified Arborist #IL0099A Wachtel Tree Science works throughout the winter months.  In fact, during the winter we perform many of our services.  We prune and remove trees and shrubs, and even remove stumps. Winters are ideal time to cable, and brace trees, install lighting protection, perform appraisals, consultations and site inspections. With the exception of insect and disease management, winter offers us an additional three months to perform our services. Winter is an excellent time to work.  The benefits are frozen ground, dormant perennials, inactive gardens and defoliated trees. The cold and sterile-like conditions of winter offer us the opportunity to prune trees and shrubs that are susceptible to, or under pressure from insect and disease problems.  Trees that have infectious fungal or bacterial disease can have these infected branches pruned out in the winter and greatly reduce the risk of spreading the disease. Insta...

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Dear Staff of Wachtel Tree Science:

Allow me please to describe our recent experience with the staff of Wachtel Tree Science Compassionate, understanding, warm, sincere, friendly genuinely are interested in the health and love of trees, truly listen to the customers words, concerns, not just hear but truly listen with their hearts, courteous respectful of property, knowledgeable and share that knowledge with their customers, offer realistic hope, options to save our tree, care for our tree and maintain a healthy tree, Allow me to back up my words. Ellen was my first contact with Wachtel Tree Science.  She greeted me by name, listened to my words and concerns for my tree with her heart, validated my feelings, and conveyed warmth and friendly customer service that built an immediate trusting relationship.  Ellen compassionately guided me through the process to get the help for my tree that I needed.  In my heart, I knew immediately I found help and hope and would be a partner in the hope of perhaps ...

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To Be Green Again

By Ron Gumz As you gaze around the landscape, you may notice many colors of various trees and shrubs, especially of the foliage.  You can appreciate the color of a blue spruce, the maroon in a Crimson King Maple, spring’s golden color of a Sunburst Honeylocust, or the white tones of a dappled Willow.  These special colors are more of an exception than the rule.  Most trees are designed to have green foliage.  When trees (that are supposed to be green) start looking a pale yellow color, it can be a sign that the tree is suffering from a condition called chlorosis. Chlorosis is a yellowing of the foliage due to the loss or breakdown of chlorophyll.  Chlorophyll is responsible for the green color in leaves.  As chlorosis worsens, leaves lose their ability to use light energy to create food from photosynthesis.  This can reduce the growth in the tree, use up the energy reserves and subject the tree to secondary issues.  A weakened tree may begin t...

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Emerald Ash Borer Update by Dave Scharfenberger

Will Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) be the end of unprotected ash trees in Wisconsin, the Midwest and the entire US? No one knows that answer but it could be “yes”! Locations of EAB have continued to increase in southeast WI. A common fact emerges when looking at other areas that are now dealing with full-blown infestations (Indiana, Ohio & Illinois) is that there has always been a significant increase in discoveries after the initial find. We are just beginning that period. This means continued bad news for ash trees! So, we feel it is important to get everybody caught up on what is new with EAB and where we are at with this pest.  Where are we?: EAB is very likely better established than anyone knows. Ash trees will continue to be at increasing risk.  What you should do?: Evaluate your ash trees and decide if any are important enough (and healthy enough) to keep. Consider planting a tree to replace your ash. Work with your Wachtel Tree Science Certified Arborist. &nbs...

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Water Water Water Water has been found to be the most limiting factor for plant growth and stress reduction.  How much water does a tree use or need? Generally, 1 inch of water per 10 day period is needed to reduce stress on trees.  This can be provided by Mother Nature, or you.  Use a rain gauge to monitor rainfall and supplement with watering when necessary. It is strongly suggested to use your finger to check the soil for moisture. If the soil is damp wait a few days and check again. Avoid overhead watering or light frequent watering which can be problematic. Pines and spruces with fungal diseases are best not watered on the foliage. Supplemental watering when dry in June, July, August and September is critical.

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Oak Wilt By: Jean Ferdinandsen

Oak wilt is a lethal fungal disease that plugs the water conducting system in an oak tree. It can occur in all species of oak, but will very quickly kill red oaks. Prompt diagnosis is crucial. The primary symptom is wilting of the leaves and early defoliation. In the red oak group wilting generally progresses from the top of the canopy downward. In white & bur oaks, wilting may occur on branches scattered throughout the tree. These symptoms may also be cause by anthracnose, bur oak blight or two-lined chestnut borer. Laboratory testing may be needed to confirm oak wilt. The disease may be spread by picnic beetles attracted to fresh wounds, but occurs primarily through root grafts between trees. Do not prune oaks during the growing season. Quickly repair storm damage and paint any wounds that occur during the growing season to avoid insect transmission. Control includes these important aspects: 1.       Trenching ...

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Beauty and the Beast

By Jean Ferdinandsen Certified Arborist WI-0149A The beautiful flowers of crabapples herald spring in Wisconsin. Different shades of pinks, whites, reds, and maroon offer a color spectacular that lasts 4 to 10 days for each cultivar. The various forms and small to medium size stature of crabapples makes them useful in a variety of sites. However, shortly after the peak bloom time, many crabapples switch from “beauty” to the “beast”. The leaves progressively turn a sickening yellow or brown and later fall off. The slowly thinning tree may look as if it is dying. The culprit is a fungal disease called apple scab. Necrotic, irregular shaped, olive brown spots on leaves are usually found along the mid-rid or in association with leaf veins. The scab fungus infects either leaf surface, flower parts, fruit, and succulent twigs. It draws nutrients from the living tissue. Chlorosis (yellowing) and death of the leaves follows. The tree is robbed of the foods produced by photosyn...

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Tea Of Life!

Tea of Life By Dave Scharfenberger Board Certified Master Arborist WI-0131B We are always looking for new ways to help improve tree health. New research has identified many of the types and numbers of beneficial bacteria and fungi that are required for a healthy root system. Gardeners know that compost is a secret to improving sterile urban soil and growing healthy plants by providing these beneficial microorganisms. A new method called compost tea, takes the benefits of compost, multiplies it and puts it into a liquid form for easy delivery to the roots where it is needed. Compost tea contains a huge diversity of actively growing and reproducing beneficial microorganisms that can greatly improve plant and soil health. Tea also aids the natural biological process in soil to make nutrients and water available to the root systems of your plants, which helps to maintain healthy, strong, thriving plants. The process is not very different from making tea! We use speci...

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Winter Pruning-Dormant Season

The dormant season during the winter months is a great time to prune your trees. With no leaves on deciduous trees to obstruct the view, our arborists are better able to check for problems.  Crews can also remove low hanging or intrusive branches without damaging annual/perennial planting beds. More importantly, dormant pruning is preventive health care for your trees.  It can improve tree structure and helps to protect you and your property from safety concerns.  The dormant season (late Fall and Winter) is also the only time Oaks and Elms can be pruned due to the possibility of transmission of Oak Wilt and Dutch Elm disease in the other seasons. Our Certified Arborists are experts in pruning for tree health and beauty.  Call our office at 262-538-1900 (or reply to this email) to schedule pruning for the coming months.

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Why Certify?

Hiring the right pruning professional is critical for the health of your trees and safety of your home, according to industry experts and highly rated Angie's List tree service companies.  Both the Tree Care Industry Association and the International Society of Arboriculture educate and oversee tree care experts, albeit in different capacities. ISA certification recognizes individuals who have years of experience, passed a comprehensive exam, and continue their education every three years. "Certification is an assurance for the homeowner that the person they hired knows what's best for their trees," says ISA spokeswoman Sonia Garth, The group also offers professional memberships (not to be confused with certification) for an annual fee to keep affiliates informed of industry news. TCIA accreditation is awarded to companies that adhere to a checklist of items that include ethical business practices, consumer satisfaction and maintaining an ISA-certified arborist on staff.&nbs...

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Winter salt damage to your trees

Snow is not the only thing on the ground this winter. Along with the winter snow, road salt is also spread around this time of year. Trees located near streets, driveways, parking lots, and sidewalks are exposed to these deicing salts and can be damaged from excess sodium in the soil. A specific test provided by Wachtel Tree Science for soil sodium can indicate levels that are harmful for trees and shrubs. If you are concerned that road salt might be damaging your trees please give your certified arborist a call today at 262-538-1900

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