Manage your Ash trees for EAB – Protect them or Remove them!

Manage your Ash trees for EAB – Protect them or Remove them!

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Emerald Ash Borer larvae in Peterborough ON

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is in the Kawarthas! We have been removing dead ash trees and finding the borer larvae (photo below). Do not put off managing the ash trees on your property – protect them or remove them! The Borer has made a steady advance through Ontario since its arrival in Detroit in 2002, leaving devastation in its path.  Windsor, Toronto, Ottawa and all towns in between have struggling or dead ash trees due to EAB. Unfortunately no true ash tree (does not include Mountain Ash) is safe and will ultimately fall victim. However there are options for your ash trees. Read on to learn more……EAB on hand

Option One: Protection
One option for protection is the injection of TreeAzin, an approved biological insecticide. TreeAzin is a natural product made from Neem tree seeds. The Neem tree grows in India and many common household products such as bath soap are made from the seed extracts. As documented by the Canadian Forest Service, TreeAzin does not pose a significant risk to bees or other non-target species. TreeAzin is injected into the tree every two years and may only be applied by a licensed pesticide applicator and one who has been trained by the supplier of TreeAzin. Injections are completed from June until the end of August.

TreeAzin injectionOption Two: Removal
It is sad to think about removing our beautiful Ash trees but since it is inevitable that they will succumb to EAB, it is wise to remove them. Trees that are affected by EAB die quickly and are typically prone to collapse and breakage which can be a safety hazard. Also, the price for removal of a dead or unhealthy tree is greater than a healthy tree due to the increased risk to the Arborist and potential need for aerial lift equipment.

 

Call today to schedule a quote for TreeAzin injections or for the removal of your ash tree(s). We can have an ISA Certified Arborist look at your tree to let you know if it is healthy enough to protect.

Financial Assistance (City of Peterborough):
Attention all Peterborough residents with Ash trees. The CIty of Peterborough and TreeCanada are offering the TreeAzin treatment subsidy for private ash trees again this year (2016).

Information about the program and an application form is available on the TreeCanada releaf web page by clicking here. Click on the words ‘application form’. The form must be printed out, scanned and emailed to privateashtrees@peterborough.ca or dropped off at City Hall.

Contact us at 705-657-6916 or contact@logantreeexperts.com to help you through this process.

Emerald Ash Borer Fact Sheet

Emerald Ash Borer Fact Sheet

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Discovered in the Detroit-Windsor area in 2002, The Emerald Ash Borer, or EAB, is a non-native insect that attacks Ash trees of all ages, sizes and degrees of health.

EAB beetles are 2 cm long, metallic green colored insects. The adults feed on the leaves of Ash trees, however, it is the larvae that do the real damage. The grub-like larvae bore under the bark and feed on the tree tissues, eventually cutting off and destroying the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients through its system for survival.

Although Ash trees infested with EAB may not show signs initially, look for thinned crowns, shoots growing from the roots and trunk, splits in the bark creating vertical cracks and “S” -shaped feeding galleries under the bark. You may also see signs that the adult beetles have emerged by the presence of “D”shaped exit holes. The exit hole is about the size of a “Q tip” and is not easily seen. Sometimes evidence of woodpeckers and squirrels can be seen where they have pulled off the bark, feeding on the larvae.

Containing EAB has been difficult as its spread has been quickened by the movement, often illegal, of ash firewood across the Province. EAB has already devastated Ash populations in southern Ontario. After failed attempts at isolating the beetle through mass removal of its food source, EAB has unfortunately been confirmed in Peterborough County and the City of Kawartha Lakes.

Can anything be done to save the Ash trees of the Kawarthas?  Yes.

Residents of the Kawartha region have an opportunity to be proactive and start protecting the Ash trees before they are infected,  giving them a better chance of survival. One option for protection is the application of TreeAzin, an approved insecticide. TreeAzin is a natural product made from Neem tree seeds. The Neem tree grows in India and many common household products such as bath soap are made from the seed extracts. As documented by the Canadian Forest Service, TreeAzin does not pose a significant risk to bees or other non-target species.TreeAzin is injected into the tree every one- two years and may only be applied by a licensed pesticide applicator and one who has been trained by the supplier of TreeAzin.

Contact Logan Tree Experts for an assessment of your ash trees and a treatment quote. Call 705.657.6916 or email contact(at)logantreeexperts.com.

Signs Your Tree Needs a Certified Arborist!

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It’s hard to count on both hands (or feet) how many times  I’ve heard a client say after a site visit, “Boy, I wish I had talked to you last year…two years ago, etc.”. Without a doubt, proactive tree work is far better, and usually more economical, than reactive tree work.  It’s no surprise that many people are still unsure when to call a Certified Arborist and often wait until it is too late, resulting in limited options.

Although every circumstance is different, here is a hypothetical situation similar to one I’ve run into:

Spring arrives and a landowner notices that their beautiful mature Sugar Maple is late to leaf out, when it finally does, the leaves are smaller and lighter in colour than the adjacent Maples. In fall, the leaves skip the colour show and just fall off. That winter wood peckers are seen chipping away at the upper branches. By the next summer the tree has less than 50% of its leaves, there are many dead branches and the bark is falling off.

Did you see the tree’s many ‘Calls for help’?  Knowing the signs could be the difference between an Arborist  inspecting, diagnosing and treating a tree to keep it standing versus  removing it. In short, trees do not die overnight and identifying and treating tree issues before it’s too late is the best option.

Consider calling an arborist when:

  • buying or selling a home/property
  • building or renovating
  • you are unsure of the health and safety of your trees
  • you want to plant trees properly
  • you see dead branches/cracks/seams/holes in your trees
  • your trees are making sounds i.e. creaking, popping
  • your tree loses its leaves during the growing season or is late to leaf out
  • the leaves are small and/or discoloured
  • you see mushrooms on or around the tree
  • you find insects (i.e. ants) in or on the tree/or find saw dust around the base of the tree
  • there is no trunk flare
  • the tree is hazardous or dead
  • the tree is blocking a view and you would like to prune for site lines
  • the tree is making contact with a structure
  • branches are broken or hung up in the tree

And finally, if you are not sure – call anyway! We are here to help you and your trees! For more information contact Logan Tree Experts to speak to an ISA Certified Arborist and Tree Risk Assessor.  Call 705-657-6916 or email contact@logantreeexperts.com.

3 Steps to More Storm Tolerant Trees

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2011 saw its fair share of storms causing damage to trees and property throughout the Kawarthas. As the owner of Logan Tree Experts I spent a lot of time talking to my clients about why some trees fall and why some stand during weather events such as this. While there are lots of reasons for tree failure I teach my clients these 3 simple steps to keep trees strong and healthy and more storm tolerant: Plant Well, Prune Properly, and Promote Strong Roots.  Although to some this may seem simple enough, I would argue the vast majority of tree failures are due to a lack of one or more of these steps.

Plant Well

Large strong trees come from small healthy trees. When it comes to planting, the most important place to start is with the right tree for the right location.  It is important to consider the tree’s characteristics and requirements as well as soil composition,  soil moisture and available space for the tree to grow in. If any of these factors are missing the health of that tree will be affected throughout its lifetime and the chance of failure in a storm increases dramatically.

Prune Properly

Pruning is necessary for trees throughout their life span. Young trees need a little help to establish healthy structure and branch spacing. This early pruning creates a strong form of well attached limbs evenly spread out which will give it the strength it needs to combat winds. Mature trees should be pruned to remove dead, broken and rubbing limbs. The timely removal of these will help the tree focus energy on defending itself against pest and diseases and on naturally strengthening its structure.   As a tree becomes larger the force of wind or snow and ice can be too much. Reduction pruning is a technique used to lessen the spread of the canopy and limit the opportunity for branch and stem failure in storm situations. No matter what type of pruning is required, it is critical that cuts are made properly, if not they could cause decay that can severely weaken the structure of a tree. Proper tools and knowledge are necessary.

Promote Strong Roots

While the first step to strong and healthy roots is starting with a healthy tree and planting it properly, maintaining that health throughout a trees  life is important and sometimes difficult. As trees get larger so do their root zone. Construction, changing the soil depth, compaction, over watering and even the sterility of a maintained lawn can cause a weakened and compromised root zone. Several techniques can be used such as fertilizing, protection during construction and implementing tree health care programs can help trees and their roots cope with a changing environment. A healthy root zone leads to a healthier and more stable tree.

Although this is a simplified list of what can make trees more tolerant to storms, I believe that if you follow these steps: plant well,  prune properly and promote strong roots, you will have a road map to stronger, healthier trees .

For more articles on tree care and information on our services, visit our website at www.ec2-54-172-148-108.compute-1.amazonaws.com.  Matt Logan is a Cerified Arborist and Tree Risk Assessor and owner of Logan Tree Experts. He is also an instructor for ArborCanada, an arborist training company, and a writer for Ontario Arborist magazine.

“Viewpoints” – the art of sitelines.

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In my opinion, few things in life are better than this: sitting on your front deck looking out onto the water, feeling the warmth of the sun and hearing a gentle breeze rustling through the trees. Now that’s a great day at the cottage.

Great cottage views are not always ‘born’—sometimes they must be created or nurtured. Trees often create that “special place” feeling, but they can also obstruct our scenic views.

As a certified arborist* I talk to a lot of shoreline owners about site lines and vistas. People want the sunlight and the view, but they don’t want to create an unnatural look by “stripping” the bottom limbs or one whole side of a tree. Many cottage owners don’t realize that there are options other than tree removal. Sometimes a good prune by a trained hand is all that is required.

Site line pruning is a technique used by arborists to capture specific desired views while minimizing and/or eliminating the negative effects of whole tree removal. By leaving trees standing, many benefits are retained: shade and privacy, habitat for animals, wind and snow block, energy savings, aesthetic and increased property value. Imaging keep all that, plus gaining a view!

In my experience the key to a great site line pruning is good communication between the arborist and the client. Specific desired views should be discussed.  (“Is a view of the island achievable?”) Goals should be set and agreed upon by all involved. I always tell my clients that subtle and natural solutions always look the best. For example, reduce the length of a limb instead of removing it completely. When done expertly, site line pruning is almost invisible; you see the view, not the cuts.

In my experience, the best results come from site line pruning with the clients on site to direct and monitor progress. If the site line is from the deck, I would have them sit on the deck (I know it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it) while I work. From there, they can confirm when the desired view is created.

Some final tips: As with any tree issue, make sure you use a qualified, certified arborist with the proper insurance coverage. Remember, bad tree care, even if done with good intentions, still leads to negative results. Bring in a professional, and open up your vistas. When the work is done, all that’s left is to sit back and enjoy the view!

Matthew Logan, Logan Tree Experts (formerly Arboriculture Solutions)

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* What’s an arborist? A professional in the cultivation, health, management and study of tress, shrubs and other perennial woody plants.

Arboriculture and Arborists – An Introduction

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As a certified arborist a large percentage of my day is answering questions – What tree should I plant, what is wrong with my tree, Etc. But on average the question I field the most is what is arboriculture? Although there are a plethora of definitions for arboriculture I prefer this simple one given by treesaregood.com: arboriculture is the art, science and practice of tree care. Arborists are the certified professionals that work within the field of arboriculture to care for and maintain trees in all its stages of growth and life.

Trees are amazing organisms with many complex systems working simultaneous to create, promote and sustain health and growth. Trees are constantly affected by both internal and external forces that dictate the trees health. Because of this Arborists need a vast knowledge base that includes botany, entomology(bugs) physics and soils to list just a few. Arboriculture encompasses all these fields and puts it in the context of tree health.

On occasion when explaining what I do for a living people will ask: so you cut down trees? Although Tree removal is an aspect of an arborists job, it certainly isn’t the only. I compare it to someone asking a dentist if all he/she does is pull teeth. Sure that’s one procedure preformed but primarily their work revolves around maintenance. Such is the case with arborists, the maintenance of trees for sustained health and safety is a key aspect while tree removal is necessary when that health and safety are in question.

The arboriculture industry in Canada is somewhat misunderstood. I believe this is due to our heritage as loggers and foresters. This country was partially built on the backs of loggers and its hard to see anyone working with trees as anything different. It comes as no surprise then that many see arboriculture and forestry as the same industry. Although a few tools and techniques span the two industries they are on the whole, quite different. Forestry is an industry focused on the health of a forest so as to harvest a crop; lumber. Arboriculture is focused on individual trees and the maintenance of health, proper growth and the safety of people and property.

I hope this article and the ones to follow will educate and enlighten you to the world of Arboriculture and trees, a world that has given me my career and passion. By educating the public about trees and their care we guarantee their prosperity in both a rural and urban setting due to more informed decisions regarding their care.

Common Tree Stresses

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In this article I would like to discuss some common tree stresses. This topic seems fitting to me as we are having an exceptional year for tree pests and diseases (P & D). The dark, cool and wet spring (and summer thus far) has created the perfect environment for P & D to thrive. However, the focus of this article will not be on P & D but instead identifying the initial stress which makes them susceptible to P & D attacks.

Similar to people, when trees become stressed or fatigued their defenses weaken and there is an increased chance of sickness, Consider P & D attacks like a cough, the cough itself isn’t the problem but it does indicate other underlying issues. Discovering these issues can be difficult as trees have a storage of energy primarily found in the roots. This stored energy can postpone any indications of injury or stress for several years.

Here is just a short list of common causes for trees to be stressed:

Improper Planting – I find it amazing how many tree problems can be traced back to improper planting. Although tree and site selection is vital, site preparations and proper planting techniques are extremely important.

Root Compaction – This is especially a problem in urban areas and high traffic areas including parks and construction sites. Roots in these areas not only get physically crushed but are also unable to access nutrients and water due to the compacted soils. Two techniques to alleviate compaction are to install barriers to divert traffic and the application of mulch to lessen compaction and to retain moisture.

Nutrient Deficiency – Trees in a forested setting have the benefit of obtaining nutrients from the decomposing organic matter (fallen leaves, fallen trees, etc.) on the forest floor. In an urban or manicured landscape the leaf or “thatch” layer is removed to allow turf and create a more aesthetic landscape. Trees constantly compete with turf for moisture and nutrients and often loose to the shallow rooted grass. Placing mulch around the base of trees when possible and providing supplemental fertilizing can increase the vigor of the root system.

Raised Grade – This is a situation usually affiliated with newly landscaped or construction sites. Problems can arise when soil is mounded or raised around the base and root zone of a tree. This can cause root starvation and suffocation as well as cause rot to form at the base of the tree. To avoid this always make sure the pedestal flare (area around the base of the tree where the trunk meets the roots) is always visible.

Wounds and Improper Cuts – moisture, insects, pathogens and decay can all enter in the tree through wounds. These wounds can be caused by an impact from machinery or improper pruning cuts. These wounds can stress the tree by expending precious energy as it attempts to seal the wound and form barriers to avoid infections. This process can take years or even decades depending on the vigor of the tree and the size of the wound. It is suggested to never dress a wound with paint or sealant as it can actually create a positive environment for P & D. Proper pruning cut placement is vital to ensure the wounds are sealed as quickly as possible.

Of course this is just a simplified short list of possible causes of stress but they are some of the things that I look for when a client calls me with a tree problem. I hope this had shed some light and answered a few question. Till next time, take care.

Protect your Trees from Construction – Creating Tree Protection Plans

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As an arborist most of the work I do is reactive. A branch is hitting the roof- I prune it, a tree is sick- I diagnose it, a tree is dead- I remove it, etc. Unfortunately being reactive can often offer limited options and finite results. A proactive approach can be a much more efficient, effective and economical approach to most situations. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

I see this no more evident than with trees and construction. During construction trees can be subjected to a wide array of stresses that can have long term and irreversible consequences. This can affect the functionality, aesthetics and most importantly the safety of a tree and their surrounding property.

Creating and implementing a tree protection plan is an effective way to insure the elimination or reduction of stress endured by trees during and after construction.

What is a tree protection plan? A tree protection plan (TPP) is a multi phase plan that is created to protect trees during construction/renovations/landscaping or any other event that may affect trees on your property. It creates guidelines and rules to be followed through the construction process. An efficient TPP relies on open communication and cooperation between the client, the contractor and the arborist. As previously stated a TPP is multiphase and can be organized into 3 stages: pre-construction, during construction and post-construction.

During the pre-construction phase it is important to decide on the goals and objectives of the TPP. An inventory of all trees possibly affected by construction activity should be recorded. Deciding what trees are high priority as well as where construction machinery will be driving and dumping are just a few considerations. Barricades and barriers are to be setup as well as means to protect the root zone from compaction and damage. It is wise to have a TPP document created as a contract which must be followed by all parties involved.

During construction it is important to ensure that the TPP is being adhered to. Situations will arise that will need immediate attention (i.e. Root and branch pruning and watering). These events should be addressed and documented.

Post construction activities involve dismantling and removing barricades, addressing any immediate tree concerns and implementing a monitoring program. A continuing monitoring program is important as trees rarely show stress or decline until several years after the initial damage.

With the implementation of a tree protection plan it is possible to be proactive and protect trees or at least alleviate the stresses endured during construction. It will also increase the chances of having healthy trees to enjoy well into the future.

As always I hope this has been informative especially to those of you getting ready to start some summer projects.