Winter 2013-Crystal Ball

Winter 2013- A Crystal Ball for 2013?

A Crystal Ball for 2013?

By: Dave Scharfenberger Board Certified Master Arborist WI-0131

by: Dave Scharfenberger, Board-Certified Master Arborist WI-0131B I wish I had a crystal ball or the ability to read tea leaves (I guess that really should be tree leaves!). Fact is, no one can predict what will happen this year. Although by reviewing what happened last year we can make some good educated guesses. So here goes:

Starting with a review of 2012:

• Drought was the biggest issue. The dry conditions from last year will leave a lasting impact on the majority of our trees. It is not too late to help.

• Conifer diseases continued strong despite the drought.

• Japanese beetles were down in many areas due to dry conditions (the only positive from the drought).

• Tar spot on Norway maples continued to be stronger than usual.

• Imprelis herbicide damage continued to do serious damage if you had it used on your property.

What might 2013 bring?

Drought, drought, drought, I do not think we can say it enough! Even if the drought is over (and it is not), trees will continue to be impacted for several years.

Root rots are the big problem we fear during and after dry conditions. While not easy to spot, the results are devastating.

Boring insects often follow droughts. Trees are more susceptible to bark beetles that love to attack weakened trees. Extra protection may be needed.

Winter storms wreaked havoc in many areas. Snow load on evergreens will need to be dealt with on many valuable plants, especially evergreens like arborvitae. Much of this damage can be corrected if dealt with early in the season.

Japanese beetles will likely be down for this year, but there can still be isolated high areas.

Needlecast diseases on spruces and pines, along with Diplodia tip blight, will continue to be problems.

Tar spot on Norway maples is likely to continue strong, making trees ugly in late summer.

Emerald ash borer treatments will need to continue as insect populations are increasing. We will likely see higher numbers throughout most of Southeast Wisconsin.

• A new problem we are seeing is bur oak blight hitting some of the biggest and oldest trees in our area. We will have more on treating this in our spring newsletter.

Unfortunately, it is a sure bet that there will be problems. Be assured that Wachtel Tree Science can help you deal with any tree and shrub problems that come up, just give us a call!

Return to Newsletters


Request a Consultant

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.

Request a Municipal Specialist

Specialized Services:

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

Click to Contact


  • 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

Read More

International Society of Arboriculture The Tree Care Industry Association Wisconsin Arborist Association TCIA Member


of tree care