Plant Doctor's Seasonal Report

The Plant Doctor's Seasonal Report brings you the most important and interesting seasonal Wisconsin tree care information. This is where our Wisconsin Certified Arborists share their experience and passion for all aspects of the tree care industry. From preventative plant health care topics like the Wisconsin Emerald Ash Borer epidemic to daily happenings at the Wachtel office, the Plant Doctor's Seasonal Report keeps you informed.

Read below to see the most up to date tree care information from our Wachtel staff of Certified Arborists and Wisconsin tree care specialists. For even more information on important tree care, take a look at our Wisconsin tree care news blog.

Contact our Wisconsin tree service specialists today to learn more about Wachtel Tree Science

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Fall 2015 - Fall Fertilization - Powerful Tool for Arborists

By: Anthony Arnoldi, Board Certified Master Arborist WI-0102BThe Diagnosticians at Wachtel Tree Science are continually asked to assess the state of trees in various stages of decline or trouble. They need to offer a competent diagnosis of the issues affecting the tree, and a reasoned prognosis if current conditions remain unchanged. We are often able to intervene in the decline or eventual “death spiral” a tree may be experiencing through one or several means: We could interrupt the damage done by an insect or disease by treating to control the pest(s). (i.e., Magnolia scale insects, Emerald Ash Borers, Ips bark beetles) Prune out disease agents such as fungal cankers and decay fungi infecting deadwood to prevent decay advancement from overwhelming a tree’s defenses. Improve root conditions by reducing soil compaction through the use of vertical mulching, radial trenching, air tilling, and traditional mulching. Improve overall tree health through Crown Cleaning...

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Fall 2015 - Tree Risk Assessment Qualification

Getting on “TRAQ” to Sound Tree Management! By: Nathan Schuettpelz, ISA Certified Arborist/Municipal Specialist WI-0887AM There is a level of risk associated with the trees on your property. There, I said it.  Sometimes we, especially Arborists, lose ourselves enjoying the beauty and benefits that trees provide. Trees are good, they are beautiful, and they provide us with many tangible and intangible benefits. We need to recognize that in the presence of trees there is a risk to the people, the structures, and the use of the property. As tree owners, your duty is to ensure that the trees on your property do not become an unacceptable risk to their surrounding environments. As risk assessors, our duty is to communicate with you the risks involved with your trees, the targets impacted in the event of tree or tree part failure, and the likelihood and severity of such an event. We also must provide you with recommended management options that result in an acceptable lev...

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Fall 2015 - Winter Tours

By Jeff Wilson, Certified Arborist #IL-0099 Trees are living investments that enhance your property’s image and create a positive first impression. Healthy trees increase in value with age, purify our air, and save energy by providing shade and protection from strong winds. On the other hand, poorly-maintained trees can be a significant hazard and liability. Fall is an opportune time of the year for us to make applications to help improve the health of your trees.  Fall and winter are also the best times to prune, and some species of trees, such as Oaks and Elms, can only be pruned during these two seasons. Here are just a few of the items we look at while performing a fall tour of your property: Leaf size – This one is a little tricky because leaf size will vary with site conditions. We will often compare your tree to like species nearby. Dwarfed leaf size is one of the first signs of stress a tree will show.  Leaf color – Yellowing leaves may be a di...

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Fall 2015 - Dormant Season Pruning

By: Jake KubisiakCertified Arborist Wisconsin late fall and winter season – Packer wins are piling up, hunters head out for deer season, and the Wachtel crew is scheduled to prune your trees.  Wait a minute how can they work in the cold?  How do they know what is live or dead with no leaves?  Is this the best time to prune our trees? Pruning of trees is one of the most commonly requested maintenance practices completed by our arborists at Wachtel Tree Science.  Reasons to have your trees professionally pruned are many: Canopy or limbs are encroaching structures or are just too low. The canopy is thick and crowded and with limbs competing for limited space and light. Limbs may have weak attachments or are cracked from storms. Dead or weakened limbs are of less benefit to tree’s health. Young trees greatly benefit from proper pruning to develop good branch spacing and structure. One of the best times to prune any woody plant is the dormant seas...

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Fall 2015 - Be Prepared

By Bill Reichenbach Certified Arborist WI-0188A Most of you have heard of the Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared”. A good motto for us all to follow for the many issues life throws our way. When thinking of trees this time of year, we need to consider the coming winter season. There are things we can do ‘soon’ to prepare and protect trees and shrubs from the stresses of winter weather and from various four legged creatures. Younger, smaller tree trunks need protection from buck deer antler rubbing. In fall, put fences around young trees (see picture). Wire mesh fencing is easy to work with. Wood or metal stakes can be helpful in keeping the fencing in place as well as zip ties or twine. The bark of young tree trunks is also susceptible to the feeding of small rodents (mice and voles). Placing hardware cloth (flexible steel wire screen) around the trunk creates a physical barrier and keeps the critters from damaging or killing your tree. Plastic spiral or paper t...

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Summer 2015 - Tree Support Systems

by Brent Kahn, Certified Arborist WI-0302A Some trees can have conditions or structural defects that potentially lead to branch or tree failure.  The result could mean damage to the tree or surrounding trees, damage to your property, or even personal injury.  When your arborist detects one of these defects, they may recommend a tree support system, also referred to as a cable or brace. A support system, when installed properly, can help to reduce these risks by minimizing the distance that branches can move in relation to each other A support cable system consists of a set of anchors installed into two parts of a tree with a steel cable connected between them.  They are generally placed at 2/3 the distance from the weak point to the ends of the branches (meeting ANSI standards).  This means they are located in the upper canopy of the tree and not always easily seen from the ground. Depending on the tree, more than one cable may be needed. There are two primary re...

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Summer 2015 - The Need for Nutrients

By Jeff Wilson, Certified Arborist #IL0099A Trees require nutrients to live and thrive. When one or more of these nutrients are deficient in the soil, the tree will not reach its full landscape potential, will be more susceptible to disease and insect problems, and will have a shorter life than a similar, well-fertilized tree. Trees in urban and suburban environments are often under high stress conditions due to low moisture availability, soil compaction, physical damage, nearby construction, and competition from turf and nearby trees and shrubs. Remember, trees are continually removing mineral elements from the soil.  In a native forest, elements are recycled as leaves drop down to the forest floor and decompose.  In most landscapes we interrupt this process by raking and removing leaves in the fall. Without periodic fertilization mineral elements will become deficient. The objective of the fertilization is to put the nutrients where they will be best taken up by the tree...

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Summer 2015 - Crying Wolf? – No Longer!

By Anthony Arnoldi, Board Certified Master Arborist  As I walk properties in Mequon, the North Shore, and other areas, I am amazed at what I see. Many, many ash that showed no dieback or significant deadwood a year ago now do. A whole host of other ash that “don’t look too bad” to the casual observer have significantly thinned out. Last year was the first year that these areas, which had previously been considered at “low level ash borer population,” showed area-wide ash borer damage. It is evident that the insects had been well distributed and “brewing” in the trees for 5 years in order for this damage to manifest. Now, this year, the damage has ramped up and some people are noticing. But the vast majority of people still have not.  This is a dangerous combination. Since the emerald ash borer was first discovered in Michigan in 2002, the dire warnings of what this insect would do started. There were announcements from state and fed...

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Summer 2015 - Time For A New Tree?

By: Ron Gumz, Certified Arborist MN-0324A When I am meeting with clients, I am often asked “Do you plant trees?” The answer is a resounding yes! There are many reasons why people tend to ask this question and are looking to plant new trees in their yard: To increase wildlife activity in their yard  To create visual interest  To increase plant diversity  To replace trees that needed to be removed  Or to try something new  The next question I often hear is, “When is a good time to plant a tree?” As an ancient Chinese Proverb states “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” This is an interesting thought, too bad we can’t go back in time. A more reasonable option is to plant during the upcoming autumn season. Planting in fall offers a number of advantages. Since the heat of summer has passed, the fall offers the tree reduced amounts of moisture stress after the insta...

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Spring 2015 - Why Should I Care for My Trees

By: Keith Glaznap, Certified Arborist #WI0678A Well what do you think? Do trees need our help? I was first introduced to this line of thinking early in my career as people would ask me, “Why do I need to treat my trees?” Some tree species as a whole have thrived in their native environments for perhaps thousands of years. One scientific fact that helps to explain this can be stated simply that nature does not care about individual trees; it cares about the survival of the species. Many trees die every day in the natural environment. It is part of the cycle of life. So why would we want to care for the trees in our yards or on our properties? The philosophical answer to this question is actually pretty simple. We want to care for our trees because they are part of our everyday lives. Maybe it’s the tree that acts as a bird sanctuary in front of your window or it’s the towering oak that provides shade and beauty for your entire yard. Or maybe it’s a tree t...

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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."

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