June 24, 2018

They're Back!

      Well, whether you are ready or not the swarms of Japanese Beetles are back.  They are back a little early this year due to the hot dry weather we have experienced so far this year.  So, where do they come from in the first place (Japan duh!)?  The beetles lay eggs in the soil and grubs burrow and live about 2'' to 8'' down in the soil.  When the soil cools to about 60°F in the fall, the grubs begin to move deeper. Japanese beetles overwinter in the grub stage and most survive the winter 2 to 6 inches below the surface, although some may go deeper. They become inactive when soil temperature falls to about 50°F. When soil temperature climbs above 50°F in the spring, the grubs begin to move up into the root zone, feeding on the roots of grass, sometimes causing dead patches in yards. Following a feeding period of 4-6 weeks underground, the grubs pupate and remai...

February 20, 2018

      There is no doubt that people are captivated by big trees.  When you think about big trees the first thing that probably comes to mind are Coastal Redwood, Giant Sequoia, or the giant Mountain Ash in Australia which is about 280 ft tall.  While these species may hold world records, there is a chance that you know of a big tree on your property or a friend's property that is a state champion.  I know just like in a sport, it's not as glorious as being a national champion, but hey it's still cool to say you own the state champion.  The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) keeps records of state champion trees.  You may wonder what exactly does it mean for a tree to be a state champion.  A champion tree will be the largest known specimen of its species in the state.  The term 'biggest tree' can be ambiguous.  Biggest in what regard?  Tallest? Biggest diameter?  Largest...

July 6, 2016

      Emerald ash borer (EAB) is an insect that has caused serve damage throughout the Midwest.   It sweeps through cities killing every Ash tree in its path.  Often an infestation begins quietly with little indication of what is to come.  Within 2-5 years it suddenly appears as if it came out of nowhere.  Typically by the time a homeowner notices obvious signs and symptoms - EAB has been present for more than a year.  Unfortunately, it is also typically too late to save the tree.  So what are the options if you have Ash trees that you really care about?  There are currently three primary management strategies.

      The first option is to simply remove the Ash tree.  If you know immediately that you are not willing to pay for treatments to prevent an EAB infestation then removal is a good option.  Many cities are advis...

September 25, 2015

Being able to identify when a tree is hazardous or when a tree has become dangerous is paramount to homeowner safety and reducing personal liability.  There are a number of things to look for such as large dead limbs, broken hanging limbs, pockets of decay, damaged roots, severe tree lean, etc.  The link to the PDF below is a very good starting point for identifying hazard trees on your property.  Of course, it is always best and highly recommended to consult with an ISA Certified Arborist to get a questionable tree inspected to assess how the level of hazardousness. 





September 25, 2015

Nothing looks better than a great lawn with large mature trees.  However, it is important to remember that there are complex interactions between trees and turf grass.  Key concepts such as competition, tree and turf selection, and maintenance practices are important to understanding how to best care for your property.  Additionally, an understanding of these concepts help to reduce costs associated with poor management and practices.  Consulting with an ISA Certified Arborist is a great way to get answers to perplexing questions.  Below is a link to a PDF that explains the basics of tree-turf interactions.