Wisconsin Arborists Articles

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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 &amp; 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. &nbsp;Where are we?: EAB is very likely better established than anyone knows. Ash trees will continue to be at increasing risk. &nbsp;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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DROUGHT ALERT !

Water Water Water Water has been found to be the most limiting factor for plant growth and stress reduction.&nbsp; How much water does a tree use or need? Generally, 1 inch of water per&nbsp;10 day period&nbsp;is needed to reduce stress on trees.&nbsp; This can be provided by Mother Nature, or you.&nbsp; 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 &amp; 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.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Trenching&nbsp...

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Time to 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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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&nbsp;view, our arborists are better able to check for problems.&nbsp; 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.&nbsp; It can improve tree structure and&nbsp;helps to protect you and your property from safety concerns.&nbsp; 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.&nbsp; 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.&nbsp; 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&nbsp;Wachtel Tree Science&nbsp;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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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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November Winner

Congratulations to Anne Aufderheide of Wauwatosa, she is the eleventh winner of our year long monthly contest winners as part of our 75th Anniversary celebration.&nbsp; Anne has been a client for over seven years, and we have performed services ranging from fertilizing to tree pruning, and removal as well as protective plant treatments.&nbsp; Jeff Hagfors, our Certified Arborist for Wauwatosa, was able to respond quickly in November when a strong storm damaged one of her trees. Anne's neighbor, another client, called the damage in since&nbsp;Ann was out of town at the time.&nbsp; Our crews completed the work in quick fashion, and we look forward to providing care for Anne's trees in the future. Anne&nbsp;will be receiving a&nbsp;$75 gift certificate of her choice as this month's winner. As a reminder, we enter your name in our monthly drawing each time we perform a service at your home during the month.

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October Anniversary Contest Winner Annouced

Congratulations to&nbsp;Georgia Foley of Brookfield, she is the tenth winner of our year long monthly contest winners as part of our 75th Anniversary celebration.&nbsp;Georgia has been a client for over ten years and we have performed services ranging from tree planting and pruning to protective plant treatments of various&nbsp;types over the years.&nbsp; This past month we planted "State Street" Miyabei Maple selected by Certified Arborist Bill Reichenbach and grown by Johnson's Nursery. Georgia will be receiving a&nbsp;$75 gift certificate of their choice as this month's winner. As a reminder; we enter your name in our monthly drawing each time we perform a service at your home during the month.

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Steptember Anniversary Contest Winner Annouced

Congratulations to&nbsp;Connie and Peter Harris of Elm grove. They are the ninth of our year long monthly contest winners in our 75th Anniversary celebration.&nbsp; Our Plant Health Care applicators were at the Harris property in&nbsp;September to protect a key Linden tree, that provides shade for their patio, against the damaging Linden Borer. We have been helping Mr. and Mrs. Harris care for their property for two years and look forward to our next visit to check the progress of our programs. &nbsp; They will be receiving a&nbsp;$75 gift certificate of their choice as this month's winner. As a reminder; we enter your name in our monthly drawing each time we perform a service at your home during the month.

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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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Weather Stressed Plants

We are having a beautiful stretch of weather in southeastern Wisconsin. The warm days and cool nights are great for the outdoor activities and projects we were denied most of the summer due to rain and mosquitoes! The crews at Wachtel Tree Science are happy to be out working in such great weather.&nbsp;I do not know about you but I feel like I have earned some nice weather to enjoy my yard. The problem is, are your trees enjoying your yard? We have now gone weeks without rain and the soil is hard and dry. The fine roots of trees&nbsp;need moisture. This water is not only&nbsp;sent up to the top of the plant for all of the life processes that are carried on in the trunk and crown but is also needed for roots to thrive and grow. A mature tree can use a ton of water a day! Do your trees have that much water? Fall is one of the most important times&nbsp;of the year for root growth. If we have good roots, we will have a healthy tree. One other critical factor in tree health is soil li...

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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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Mulching

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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Getting Ready for Winter

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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August Anniversary Contest Winner Annouced

August&nbsp;Drawing: Congratulations to&nbsp;Mr. &amp; Mrs. Pinell. They are the eighth of our year long monthly contest winners in our 75th Anniversary celebration.&nbsp; Our Plant Health Care applicators were at the Pinell property in July to inject a Red Oak to help prevent Oak Wilt disease. We have been helping Mr. and Mrs. Pinell care for their property since 2006 and look forward to our next visit to check the progress of our programs. They will be receiving a&nbsp;$75 gift certificate to Pesche’s Greenhouse in Williams Bay.&nbsp; If you have never been to Pesche’s Greenhouse, they have a wide selection of trees, shrubs and flowers at both locations.&nbsp; Learn more here: http://www.peschesgreenhouse.com/ As a reminder; we enter your name in our monthly drawing each time we perform a service at your home during the month. Our prize for&nbsp;September is a selection of&nbsp; autographed books written by a friend of our company, Melinda Myers.&nbsp; An expert ho...

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July Anniversary Contest Winner

Congratulations&nbsp;to&nbsp;Mr. &amp; Mrs. Nordyke of New Berlin. They are the seventh of our year long monthly contest winners in our 75th Anniversary celebration.&nbsp; Our Plant Health Care applicators were at the Nordyke property in July to apply the last of&nbsp;2 treatments to their 8 Austrian Pines to help control&nbsp;Dothistroma/Sphaeropsis diseases. We have been helping Mr. and Mrs. Nordyke care for their property since 2007 and look forward to our next visit to check the progress of our programs. &nbsp; They will be receiving a&nbsp;$75 gift certificate to Johnson's Nursery at the following locations: W180 N6275 Marcy Rd&nbsp;in Menomonee Falls or&nbsp;Johnson's Gardens&nbsp;at 8504 Hwy 60&nbsp;in Cedarburg. If you have never been to Johnson's they have a wide selection of trees, shrubs and flowers at both locations. &nbsp; As a reminder; we enter your name in our monthly drawing each time we perform a service at your home during the month. &nbsp;Our prize for&nbsp;August...

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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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Viburnum borer

Almost all types of viburnums have become susceptible to viburnum borer. This insect tunnels into the stems at, or slightly below ground level. Look for damage in this area. Stressed plants are more likely to become infested. Water properly to avoid drought stress and renewal prune if appropriate to keep plants vigorous.&nbsp; Symptoms may be a curling and stunting of leaves and premature fall color, as well as dieback of some portions of the plant. Insecticide treatments require multiple applications are warranted only on high value plants. By Jean Ferdinandsen Wachtel Tree Science Certified Arborist # WI0149A

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Japanese beetles are back in town

&nbsp;Because these obnoxious, metallic green and brown beetles feed on over 250 different species of plants (roses, lindens and maples are favored), high expectations are given to traps to help save the day. Japanese beetle traps are very effective in attracting and trapping adult Japanese beetles, but they are ineffective in protecting your susceptible trees and shrubs from Japanese beetle feeding damage. This seemingly contradictory answer requires an explanation. Japanese beetle traps, sold at most garden center outlets, usually contain two separate, chemical lures. One lure is a feeding attractant that attracts both male and female beetles. The second lure is a pheromone that attracts male beetles. These lures work very well in attracting hundreds, even thousands of adult beetles toward the trap. &nbsp;Therein lies the problem. Many adult beetles are attracted into the area around the trap, but they do not necessarily get caught inside the trap. Susceptible plant species loc...

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80

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2017