Wisconsin Arborists Articles

1 2 3 >>

Wachtel Tree Science Makes History with Apprenticeship Program

By Jeff Wilson, Certified Arborist IL-0099A On June 9th our company made history by enrolling two staff members in the very first Arborist Apprenticeship program in the United States.  The creation of the program started over two years ago when a group of Arborists from the Wisconsin Arborists Association (including staff members from Wachtel Tree Science) began working with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development to begin this important program.  The first photo below is from the celebration of the first two enrollees: Luke Volbrecht and Mary Pederson of our company signing the documents. The second photo is WTMJ4 interviewing Mary for the 6pm news that evening.   The program is a 42 month program combining work experience and class work at Milwaukee Area Technical College.  The program is attracting interest both in our state and other states throughout the country.   Our company is always looking for talented individuals, please call our off...

Continue Reading

Time For A New Tree?

By: Ron Gumz Certified Arborist MN-0324AWhen 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 a...

Continue Reading

Tree Consultation Services Overview

By Nathan Schuettpelz, Certified Arborist WI-0887AM An Overview of our Consulting Services When we think of a Consulting Arborist, we think of a professional who visits a site and provides advice. While this is very true, there is so much more that we have to offer as consulting arborists! As consulting arborists working with communities, we can assist you from the very beginning by helping write grant applications for exciting new projects! We will work with you side by side to identify your goals and develop solutions to get you there. Whether it is a review of your community’s tree ordinances, planning a street and parks tree inventory, or writing a complete Urban Forest Management plan, we will be there to help you. If your community needs expertise to manage their urban forest but simply cannot hire a new full-time employee, we can help with that as well.  Currently we serve 3 communities as part-time interim Community Foresters. We provide our services to these com...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

The Importance of a Diversity of Trees in the Landscape

By Bill Reichenbach, Certified Arborist WI-0188A Why is planting a wide selection of trees in our landscapes  important? Let’s look at a little past history to delve into this question. Decades ago many of our cities streets were planted with American elms. They were easily grown, tough and well adapted to growing in urban environments. They were also beautiful and created wonderful canopies that arched over streets, and shaded our homes. Many elms were planted.  Some streets were lined exclusively with American elms. Dutch elm disease (a fungal pathogen) arrived in the U.S. in 1928 and spread from east to west devastating our elm population. Many communities lost a vast majority of their tree cover. Relatively few American elms remain today. Following the loss of the elms, other trees were planted as replacements. Unfortunately we did not fully learn our lesson in the importance of diversity. A large number of ash trees were planted to replace the lost elms.  A...

Continue Reading

The Root of the Problem - The Benefit of Soil Treatments

Keith Glaznap Certified arborist # WI-0678A Trees have evolved to live in a variety of environments and can tolerate a wide range of conditions. One thing that they have not evolved to deal with is us. Trees have an extensive root system that generally extends out from the base of the tree at least 2 times its height. In addition to that, most of those roots are located in the top 18” of soil. This means that if you have a tree that is 50’ tall and you disturb the soil within 100’ feet of the tree you are likely affecting tree roots. Most native trees in southeast Wisconsin have evolved in either a prairie soil or forest soil. Both of these soil types are much more fertile than our urban soils. These soil types are full of life. This “soil life” breaks down dead plants and animals making the nutrients available to the trees. Additionally these beneficial processes can affect the pH of the soil, which in turn can also help increase the tree’s abilit...

Continue Reading

Wachtel News

Wachtel Tree Science is proud to announce the following exceptional accomplishments of our staff:   Certified Arborist Ron Gumz (pictured right) is serving as the 2015 President of the Wisconsin Arborist Association; Nathan Schuettpelz became certified as a Municipal Specialist with the International Society of Arboriculture and became a Qualified Tree Risk Assessor along with Dave Scharfenberger, Co-President of Wachtel Tree Science.  Dave was also honored as the 2014 TCIA Volunteer of the Year.   Additionally, we would like to acknowledge the following milestone anniversaries: Anthony Arnoldi – 30 years; Janet Doss – 25 years; Jeff Schulz – 25 years; Ryan Rodefer – 5 years; and Nathan Schuettpelz – 5 years.   And be sure to keep an eye out for our newest arborist trainees Jennifer Gelinskey, Tom Steele, Austin Schmaus, Ben Perry, and Alli Kassel.  Please take a moment to welcome them.  We are lucky to have them on our t...

Continue Reading

Urgent Tree Care Notice: Watering

Tree Watering Notice: As the tree service Milwaukee trusts, we would like you to know that the current dry conditions in Southeast Wisconsin are creating a threat to your tree(s) health.  Under these conditions, tree systems shut down. Your tree’s water uptake and photosynthesis are reduced and fine roots are at risk of dying. We want your trees to stay healthy and beautiful year round, no matter the weather, so we’ve outlined a few tips on how to keep you trees strong and healthy through this dry spell: When it comes to watering, a good rule of thumb is that your trees receive the equivalent of one inch of water per week. If nature does not provide enough, you will need to supply the supplemental water. Check soil moisture often by putting your finger into the soil 2-4” deep. If it feels dry, it is time to water; if it is moist, hold off on watering but check again soon. Water widely beneath the tree once per week to help the tree retain roots and maintain...

Continue Reading

Protect Your Landscape with Diversity

By Bill Reichenbach, ISA Certified Arborist WI-0188A‘Diversity’ tends to be a hot-button topic in many circles these days.Diversity is defined as ‘The quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas, etc.’Synonyms include ‘assortment’, ‘variety’ and ‘distinct’. So why are we talking about diversity in Wachtel’s Tree Care Blog? Having a diverse selection of trees in your landscape plays an important role in the long-term stability of your property’s ‘ecosystem’. When an area has a high diversity of tree species, it is less likely to suffer catastrophic loss from diseases or pests. Forest stewards are lucky in the sense that most tree pests are specialists, they often show a preference for a single genus and in many cases a single species. Some examples of this include the specificity of butternut canker disease to butternut (Juglans cinerea) while not affecting the closely related black w...

Continue Reading

EAB - Learning's From The South

This week's blog post features a guest contributer; Jake Balmes, Certified Arborist and Street Supervisor for the Village of Gurnee, IL, has provided some information the increasing effect the Emerald Ash Borer on ash trees in the Midwest. Our Wachtel Certified Arborists have been able to use this information to help better prepare for the effects of the Emerald Ash Borer as it moves further into Wisconsin.  Contact our Wachtel Certified Arborists today for more information on the Emerald Ash Borer in Wisconsin. Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Learning’s from the South Jake Balmes Street Division Village of Gurnee, IL Supervisor ISA Certification # IL-1331 The Village of Gurnee, IL had approximately 3,400 ash trees growing in the parkway system (this number is rapidly falling). We discovered EAB in January of 2011 and began treatments in June of that year. In 2011 we treated 607 trees and intended to treat more trees in 2011; but had a violent windstorm and spent six weeks on c...

Continue Reading

Frequently Asked Questions about Ash Trees and EAB Protection

Answers to Your EAB Questions Our certified arborists are working hard every day to ensure that you are infromed of the options you have with any of your trees including ash. The emerald ash borer continues to make its way across Wisconsin and the midwest. 10-25% of the trees you see in southeast Wisconsin are ash trees. Due to the large population of this species in Wisconsin, many concerned ash tree caretakers frequently call us for more information on this aggressive insect and its effect on the ash tree in Wisconsin. We hope you use the information provided here to educate yourselves as well as others in your neighborhood and community.  Q. I’ve seen bumper stickers and signs that say “Don’t move firewood, it BUGS me”.  What does that mean? A. After Emerald Ash Borer has been verified in a specific location, that area is quarantined with the hopes of slowing the spread of EAB to unaffected areas. Moving firewood infested with EAB moves the ...

Continue Reading

EAB in Wisconsin - So what are YOU going to do about IT!

By Jeff Wilson, ISA certified Arborist, IL-0099A This is a question we are starting to hear more and more often as the damage from the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) starts to show in thinning or dead trees.  For 80 years our clients have depended on our help when disease or damaging insects affect their properties.  Over the years, we have stayed one step ahead of tree issues such as Dutch Elm Disease, Gypsy Moth and others to help keep your trees healthy and beautiful. At Wachtel, we operate differently from other companies out there. Our professional approach is caring for your property, not just selling a service for an individual tree. Our goal is the stewardship of your property. We are always working to find the best way to manage EAB (or any other problem) and give you all of the facts so you can decide what is best for you. So what are we doing about EAB?We are always seeking out the latest information, techniques and products so that you can be assured you are rece...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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…. ...

Continue Reading



Continue Reading

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 ...

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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.  ...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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 ...

Continue Reading

Prescribed Fertilization Can Help Your Trees Now!

Prescribed Fertilization Can Help Your Trees Now!

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading


Article Categories

Recent Articles

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