I wanted to dedicate this installment to Boxwood Blight, since this is a disease which has the potential to disrupt formal landscapes all across the state. The disease is fungal, and affects boxwood, especially the cultivated varieties ‘American’ and ‘Suffruticosa’. It is relatively recent in the United States, and was found in Ohio nurseries in 2011.
One of my favorite things about the fall season are the flowers of our native Witchhazel. If you look carefully you may still be fortunate enough to see them. On the cold grey days of fall, when other plants have lost their color, our native Witchhazel bursts into a show of yellow flowers brightening up the landscape around them.
Every fall I get calls from folks concerned about yellow needles on their evergreen trees. Often times I’m told that the trees are sick or that they appear to be dying from the inside out. There are some disease and insect problems that can cause yellowing and premature loss of needles in conifers but most often what people are reporting is just normal fall color.
I find it interesting that test procedures recommended in the medical field for human health have become part of the expected methodology, but not so much in arboriculture, for tree health. As arborists, we are trained that a soil test should be done prior to recommending fertilization, for example, but I don’t know of many outfits that make soil sampling a part of their modus operandi.
As we prepare for another season of Fall Tree Wellness, another important insect pest to take note of is the White Pine Weevil. White Pine Weevil is a damaging pest to a broad range of conifers, including White, Scotch, Red and Austrian pine as well as Colorado blue, Norway, and Serbian spruce. Douglas-fir can also be attacked.
As an arborist I have frequently been asked to “top” people’s trees. People want their trees topped for several reasons: safety concerns, vista pruning, aesthetics or height reduction. This request prompts a conversation about the practice of tree topping and the hazards associated with it.
Springtime is long gone, even though it only seems like a couple of months ago that we were coming out of winter. Suddenly, here we are, getting ready to enter the fall season, and true to form, during the past several weeks I have been seeing trees go into what we call “late season blues”.
During the growing season trees are making food through a process called photosynthesis. Isn’t that incredible - trees make their own food! (Magic.) The magic is due in part to the chlorophyll stored in each leaf, which absorbs energy from the sun to transform carbon dioxide and water into plant food (glucose) and oxygen.
Trees in our landscapes are not only beautiful but they provide countless benefits that can enrich our lives. These benefits extend well beyond backyard aesthetics and go on to include health implications, improved energy efficiency, and community-wide effects.
“Take a look”, I said to my concerned client, as we stood in the shade of her Magnolia tree. I had just handed her my hand lens, and I showed her how to get it close to her eye as she peered through it. I wanted her to see what was in my hand – a dead adult Magnolia scale insect.
We’ve received a high volume of calls over the last couple of weeks about “bagworms” in client’s trees. In central Ohio, true bagworm feeds predominantly on evergreens - arborvitae, spruce, and junipers although some deciduous trees can be hosts as well. Generally, this
Summer months include long hot sunny days that we can enjoy by the pool or lake, but can also bring thunderstorms and high winds. While trees provide shade in these very hot months, they can also be a source of property damage during these summer storms.
It’s hard to miss this disease once we enter the hot dry months of summer. Without fail, each July/August I start to see trees turning brown and wilting suddenly, usually in patches within the canopy that can be traced back to entire individual limbs that have died. More dramatically, an entire tree…
From day one, Russell Tree Experts has always held safety to the highest regard. Each week we dedicate time to train, educate and discuss the most efficient production techniques focused first on safety. Managing a business in an industry recognized by the Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) as…
I have been noticing what I consider to be an unacceptable amount of chlorosis in urban trees around Columbus. In general, chlorosis is the yellowing of plant foliage caused by a lack of chlorophyll. This is a problem because plants depend on chlorophyll to absorb energy from sunlight and to survive. Several…
Black Knot is a relatively common disease that mainly effects Plum and Cherry trees, but can impact other trees in the prunus species as well. These types of trees can frequently be seen growing in and around Columbus area neighborhoods. Black knot is actually a type of…
I find insects that cause galls to be really interesting. There are many different types, usually host-specific, with various shapes and sizes of galls formed. In most instances, the feeding of the insect causes an abnormal growth reaction in the plant that forms this gall where either the adult or the immature insect lives inside.
This year has been a particularly bad one for fire blight on Pear and Apple trees. Fire blight is a bacterial disease that affects plants in the Rosaceae family, causing a characteristic blackened wilting of leaves and twigs. This family of plants is also popular for its landscape value, both for flowers and fruit production. Pear, Cherry, Rose, Apple, Serviceberry, Cotoneaster, Hawthorn are just a few trees and shrubs that are very familiar to us. Have you noticed a profusion of dead, blackened leaves in your neighborhood? In your trees?
Plant diseases love Spring! As temperatures warm and tender new growth emerges, conditions are ideal for pathogens to settle in and take up residence in our favorite trees. It is now when many plants are susceptible and treatable for diseases, such as Dothistroma needle cast of Austrian Pine, Rhizosphaera needle cast of Blue Spruce, rust diseases on hawthorn and pear, and for the purpose of this article: the aesthetically devastating apple scab on flowering crabapple.
More and more trees are growing up in confined urban environments that force their root systems to wrap around the base of the tree causing girdling roots. Girdling roots will block vital nutrients to flow to the tree's canopy which can eventually cause the tree to die. The good news: girdling roots can be fixed if caught early!