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.






August 24, 2015


If you have ever had a difficult time trying to decide what tree to plant on your property and want a number of options take a look at the Arbor Day Foundation's Tree Wizard.  By selecting the desired variables in the Tree Wizard you can generate a list of potential trees for your property.  The tool allows you to pick trees by size, purpose, and site characteristics.  If you have any additional questions about the suggested trees just contact us with your questions. Check it out at the link below or click on the picture!



July 10, 2015

Oak gall, a swelling of tissue caused by small non-stinging wasps, is a common problem encountered by many homeowners.  Although the deformation looks threatening to the health of the tree it typically does little damage other than causing unpleasing aesthetics for homeowners.  However, severe infection over a number of years can stress the tree and cause decline.  Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done to treat oak gall.  The article below addresses the basics of oak gall.




June 20, 2015


Oak trees (Quercus spp.) are often some of the most prized trees in a homeowners yard.  Knowing when and how to prune oaks when hiring a contractor or taking on a DIY project is important with respect to tree vigor, longevity, and structural integrity.  One of the most common mistakes is pruning oaks between Mid-March thru June.  This can lead to an agressive pathogenic infection known as 'Oak Wilt'.  Pruning cuts during this time of year can lead to the infection of trees which then is spread to adjacent oak trees via root grafted root systems.  Below is an article that outlines signs, symptoms, and other information about oak wilt.  Consulting with an arborist is always recommended before pruning your oak trees.




April 21, 2015


Property owners who have young trees often over-look them when it comes to pruning.  However, training trees when they are young for proper structure can reduce chances of mechanical failure and increase longevity of the tree.  Additionally, well trained young trees often cost less to maintain over the life of the tree than those left to grow with defects. 


Common structural issues that can lead to damage or failure include:

*Included bark

*Co-dominate stems

*Over-lifting (often called lion’s-tailing),

*Large lower limbs (especially those greater than ½ the diameter of the trunk)

*An unbalanced canopy


Typically pruning 6-8 times in the first 20-30 years of a tree’s life can create proper structure that makes it more likely that the tree will become a long-term part of the landscape.  It is good practice to have an ISA Certified Arborist® visit your property annually to en...

March 28, 2015

As spring starts many people are beginning to select trees to plant on their property.  Planting new trees should be viewed at as an investment.  Trees provide numerous environmental and economic benefits.  As mentioned before in a previous blog post tree planting is a critical stage in a tree's life.  Planting is not as easy as just digging a hole and tossing the tree in the hole.  Proper establishment will increase the odds that your tree lives longer and is more vigorous.  There are a number of considerations and steps that must be taken to properly plant a tree.  Below is a great video on the correct steps to tree planting.  If you have any questions about the video, additional tree planting questions, or want us to correctly plant your trees please ask!




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Jacob Winterbower