Month: May 2019

How Do You Know When A Tree Is Sick?

Your landscaping is an important part of what makes your house a home. To keep your landscaping looking great for years to come, you’ll need to keep an eye on the health of every element of it. This, of course, includes your trees. While trees may take less day to day maintenance than a flower bed or rose bush, you’ll still need to keep an eye out for specific signs that indicate your tree is sick.

sick tree with bark peeling off

Signs of Sickness to Watch for in Trees.

You can tell a lot about the health of a tree just by looking at it. You can start by looking at the roots and taking note of any broken off roots, places where the ground appears to rise up over the root, or fungi such as mushrooms growing around the roots. These are all signs that your tree is sick.

Next, look at the tree trunk just above the ground and check for peeled off bark and deep cracks in the surface. Check the rest of the trunk for swelling, holes, or soft spots that indicate decay. Finally, inspect the limbs and leaves for signs of disease. Spots, holes or discolored leaves are signs for concern, as well as low-hanging branches without bark or leaves, branches that appear to be leaning on others, or branches that have grown together into weak V shapes.

If you pull off a healthy twig and look inside, you’ll notice that it’s bright green. As the twig starts to decay, it will turn to dull green on the inside. If the inside brown or black, the branch is already dead. If you discover that a branch is dead, check the branches around it to determine how far the disease has already spread throughout the tree. You can also scratch the bark off of a section of a tree to expose the wood underneath, determine the health based on the color just as you can with twigs.

These are all signs that the team at Red’s Tree Service will look for when diagnosing a sick tree.

Common Types of Sickness in Trees

Once you notice that something is wrong with one or more of your trees, we can identify whether you’re experiencing one of these common tree problems.

Leaf diseases:

  • Anthracnose: If you notice brown spots around the veins of the leaves, of notice that they are falling earlier than expected, this may be the problem. If you’ve had an unusually wet spring or summer, this fungus is even more likely to be an issue. It primarily affects maple, dogwood, ash, oak, and sycamore trees.
  • Fire Blight: The name for this disease come from the fact that the dead and blackened leaves and fruits cling to the tree, making it appear burnt. While this is a later indication, the early signs are brown cankers on twigs, black spots on leaves, or leaves that grow in a candy cane shape. This disease commonly affects Cotoneaster, hawthorn, mountain ash, quince, apple, cherry, firethorn, and pear trees.
  • Apple Scab: This could be the problem if you notice fruits or leaves with olive green spots or pale leaves that fall to quickly. You’ll start to see yellow spots in May or June, and they’ll get darker as the disease progresses. This disease is harmless but can be annoying and you may be bothered by the appearance of your trees. This disease generally affects mountain ash, crabapple, pear, Cotoneaster, and apple trees.

Diseases in the Tree:

  • Cankers: Cankers are growth on the bark of a tree that looks like a blister or canker sore, hence the name. There are three common kinds, Cytospora, Nectria, and Phomopsis, and each one affects different types of trees. However, they all are caused by the same things. Cankers occur when any one of a number of bacteria of fungi infects an open wound in a tree.
  • Heart Rot Disease: This disease is common in trees that shed their leaves each year, such as maple, cedar, dogwood, beech, and birch trees. It can be a result of improper pruning, broken branches, or fire or insect damage. Heart Rot disease is caused by fungus and bacteria infecting the bare wood on the tree. If you suspect Heart Rot disease, check for conk or mushroom bodies growing the tree.
  • Sooty Mold Disease: This disease is the result of mold feeding of insect honeydew, and is, therefore, most prevalent in trees with a lot of feeding insects. Be on the lookout for a black powdery coating on the tree and leaves. The most common type of mold that affects trees are antennarella, aureobasidium, capnodium, cladosporium, limacinula, and scorias. It most commonly effects elm, linden, boxelder, and maple trees.
  • Verticillium Wilt Disease: Verticillium wilt is an especially problematic disease because as a soil-borne disease, it attacks the tree at the root and you may not b able to catch is as quickly as some other diseases. It causes tree leaves to look disheveled and become lighter until they eventually wilt and fall off. The fungus associated with the disease can spread quickly through the soil to the rest of your landscaping, making Verticillium Wilt a highly contagious and concerning tree sickness. It’s most likely to infect elm, maple, catalpa, and stone fruit trees.

Treating Common Diseases in Trees

The team at Red’s Tree Service are experts at treating common tree diseases. We can also prune dead or dying areas of your trees to prevent further damage, or remove trees that are already dead and can’t be helped any further.

Contact us today for a free quote.

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Oak Wilt Identification, Treatment, and Prevention

Bretziella fagacearum oak wilt disease fungus

Don’t let oak wilt (Bretziella fagacearum) kill your tree. While few fungi can bring down the mighty oak tree, this is one of them.

Oak wilt is one of the most destructive tree diseases in the United States, and it’s on the loose, killing oak trees at nearly epidemic proportions. If your oak tree(s) appear to be in trouble, its problems may be caused by a fungus that, if not halted, will kill your tree in a matter of months. gathered essential information about oak wilt disease, how to identify it, treat it, and prevent it.

What is Oak Wilt?

Bretziella fagacearum, formerly known as Ceratocytis fagacearum, is the scientific name for oak wilt, and this fungal disease affects all species of the oak (Quercus) genus by disabling the water conducting system in these trees.

Based upon porosity and leaf shape, oaks are divided into two groups; red oaks and white oaks. Bretziella fagacearum affects these two groups differently:

White Oak Group – The species below that are part of this group have rounded leaf edges and pores clogged by tyloses.

• Quercus alba (the most commonly known white oak species)
• Quercus lobata (California white oak or valley oak)
• Quercus polymorpha (Mexican white oak or Monterrey oak)
• Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak)
• Quercus arizonica (Arizona white oak)
• Quercus garryana (Oregon white oak or Garry oak)

Tyloses are outgrowths on cells of xylem vessels. Tyloses fall from the sides of the cells and seal a tree’s vascular tissue to prevent or reduce damage.

White oak rounded leaves low susceptibility to Bretziella fagacearum

Red Oak Group – The species below that are part of this group have pointed leaf edges and large open pores:

• Quercus falcata (southern red oak)
• Quercus graciliformis (Canby oak or Chisos oak)
• Quercus buckleyi (Texas red oak)
• Quercus rubra (the northern red oak)
• Carnarvonia araliifolia (an Australian rainforest tree)

Red oak pointed leaves highly susceptible to Bretziella fagacearum

Due to the difference in porosity, species in the red oak group are more easily infected by oak wilt and die more quickly than the white oak group species. In fact, infected trees in the red oak group may die off within a single summer season, where those in the white oak group can persist for several years after being infected.

Another difference is that trees in the red oak group produce fungal spore mats that facilitate the “above ground or overland” spread of the pathogen, whereas the trees in the white oak group rarely produce them.

How to Identify Oak Wilt Disease

Oak trees infected with oak wilt present the following symptoms:

• Leaf chlorosis
• Leaf drop (off-season)
• Dieback from the top down
• Veinal necrosis (Live oak species only)

Dead leaves on tree with Bretziella fagacearum oak wilt disease

In most cases of infection, oak leaves will turn pale green and then brown while still attached to the tree. By the time they fall, the tree is likely dead.

This disease is dangerous in that it is extremely fast acting; it can kill a mature oak tree in a matter of two to four months while spreading from tree to tree via grafted roots.

Grafted roots occur when the roots of two or more compatible tree species meet and fuse together. Once roots are grafted, they gain the ability to interchange nutrients, water, and disease to each other.

If you suspect that your oak tree is infected with oak wilt, have your tree inspected by an arborist immediately.

How to Treat Oak Wilt Disease

Once Bretziella fagacearum has infected your tree, your fast action is required to halt this pathogen. There are two principle ways to treat oak wilt disease:

Fungicide Treatment – Propiconazole applications are an effective preventative measure. During the earliest stages of infection, this fungicide is injected through holes drilled in the root flare, to the tree’s water-conducting vascular system.

The success of this treatment is greatly influenced by the health of the tree and the fungicide application rate. Any time holes are drilled into a tree for this type of treatment, a professional should be hired to make sure the fungicide is applied correctly and that the holes do not become sources of further infection or infestation.

Trenching to Sever Root Connections – When a tree has been infected and fungicide treatments are no longer viable, trenching will help stop the pathogen from being transmitted from tree to tree by grafted roots.

Trenching to sever grafted tree roots and prevent oak wilt disease from spreading

After identifying infected trees, a trench should be dug with a trenching machine, ripper bar, rock saw, or walk-behind trencher to a depth of at least 4 feet (trenches deeper than 4 feet may be required in deeper soil), and a minimum 100 foot radius around the infected tree(s).

Healthy trees within the trench are considered high risk and should be uprooted or removed to improve the effectiveness of the barrier. Tree removal should start immediately after trenching, beginning with the trees closest to the trench, and working inward thereafter until all of the trees within the trench have been eliminated.

An oak wilt contamination can be more easily contained when treatment begins early. Trees outside the trenched area should be monitored for several years after the infected area has been treated, and in the event of further infection, the same procedure (trenching and tree removal) should be repeated while the contaminated area is still manageable.

Oak Wilt Disease Prevention

Tree disease prevention begins with tree health. However, when it comes to oak wilt disease, special care must be taken to avoid infecting otherwise healthy trees. The following will help you avoid spreading the Bretziella fagacearum pathogen to your oaks:

Healthy tree free from Bretziella fagacearum oak wilt disease

Tree Health – A healthy tree has defense mechanisms that help it stave off attacks from fungi and insect infestation. Whether it be exuding sap to close wounds made by insects, or compartmentalization to contain invading pathogens, the healthier your tree is, the more effective its defense will be. The following steps help you increase your tree’s vitality:

During prolonged dry seasons:

• Provide weekly deep waterings for your trees.
• Fertilize your trees before the growing season begins (February, and early March).
• Mulch your trees to avoid losing soil moisture.
• Inspect your trees frequently for wounds and weather damage (including surface roots), use tree wound dressing, wax based dressing, or latex paint to seal these wounds.

Pruning Activities – Pruning encourages new growth. However, in the case of oak trees, pruning them may provide an opportunity for Bretziella fagacearum to invade and kill your tree. Adhere to the following guidelines when pruning oak trees:

Oak tree branch cutting and pruning in winter to prevent wilt disease infection

• From February through July, avoid pruning or wounding your oak tree(s). This period is when oak wilt fungal mats are most easily formed, and oak bark beetles (Scolytinae) and sap beetles (nitidulid) are most active.
• Pruning activities should take place during midwinter or extended periods of hot weather in late summer. (these are the periods which present the least threat to your oaks)
• Sterilize all pruning equipment between trees.
• Paint all pruning wounds with a tree wound dressing, wax-based dressing, or latex paint to create an immediate barrier to contaminated beetles or airborne pathogens, regardless of the time of year.
• Freshly cut stumps and wounded surface roots should be dressed immediately, as Bretziella fagacearum can be transmitted from tree to tree through grafted roots.

Diseased Tree Removal – Oak trees that are dead or dying from oak wilt disease should be removed and immediately burned or buried to prevent dissemination of the disease’s spores.

When dealing with infected trees, call on a professional tree service to handle the removal and destruction of these trees. They will also be able to assess the potential risk to surrounding trees and advise you on any further necessary preventative measures.

Firewood Awareness

– Avoid purchasing or transporting unseasoned firewood. Since fungal mats may form on unseasoned oak firewood, you could be unintentionally spreading the pathogen to uninfected areas.

Oak tree seasoned firewood does not spread Bretziella fagacearum

Seasoned firewood has been dried for a minimum of one year and poses little to no threat of spreading the oak wilt pathogen.

Oak Tree Disease – Bretziella Fagacearum

Your mighty oak tree can become infected and die in a matter of months. The Bretziella fagacearum fungus can spread by way of insects, airborne spores, and through grafted roots. By the time you identify the problem, you may be dealing with several infected trees on a fast-track to death.

In this article, you discovered vital information about oak wilt disease, how you can identify it, what you need to do to treat it, and prevention tips.

Your slow response to this fast-acting disease can not only result in the death of your tree, but also to the spread of oak wilt to numerous trees in surrounding environments. At the first sign of trouble, call a professional to help you assess the damage and required measures for containment.


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How to Grow an Apple Tree in Marietta Georgia

Apple tree planting and harvest in Marietta Ga

So you want free apples for life? It’s as simple as planting a tree, but there are some things you must know before trying to grow an apple tree in your backyard.

Growing apple trees may seem easy, and it is when you know how to acclimate them and care for them as they mature. By using simple care techniques, you’ll be harvesting homegrown apples before you know it. gathered information on how to acclimate, plant, and care for apple trees until they begin to bear fruit.

Apple Trees from Seeds, Seedlings, or Saplings

If you want to grow and harvest your favorite apples, your first decisions are which species of apple and in what phase of growth to start. The following will help you decide:

Starting from Seeds – If you can create and maintain a controlled environment for seeds to sprout and flourish in, it is the longest but most engaging way to grow your apple trees.

Planting fertile apple tree seeds

Eating an apple and retrieving the seeds from the core may seem like a logical way to get started, but store-bought hybrid apples typically do not have viable seeds or seeds that will grow true to the species. Your best bet is to visit your local nursery or the plant and garden section of your local home improvement store for viable, fertile seeds.

Starting from Seedlings – Seedlings are a great way to start growing a tree. However, they are still fragile and require a controlled environment for the first few months of growth. Seedlings should be allowed to acclimate to their new environment for 5 to 10 days before being transplanted to a larger container.

Apple tree seedling growing in container

Once seedlings “get a feel” for their new location, they tend to grow fairly rapidly. However, seedlings will require several transplants before finally moving them outside for acclimation and to their permanent location.

Starting from Saplings – This is perhaps the easiest way to grow your apple tree. Besides circumventing all of the care and precaution needed for seeds and saplings, saplings are almost ready to be planted in their permanent location.

Saplings should be acclimated to the outside environment by leaving them in partial shade for 3 to 4 hours daily, for 7 to 10 days. Once a sapling has been acclimated, it can be transplanted to its permanent outside location.

Planted apple tree sapling in Marietta Ga

Apple Tree Needs

Before planting your apple tree in its permanent location in late winter or early spring, read, then consider these specific apple tree requirements:

Sun Requirements – For best growth and fruiting, your apple tree should get full sunlight (this is 6 or more hours of direct summertime sunlight daily).

Spacing Requirements – Regular apple trees require 25 to 30 feet between trees; semi-dwarf apple trees need 15 to 20 feet, and the dwarf species can be spaced 10 to 15 feet apart.

Regular sized mature apple tree spacing 30 feet between trees

Soil Requirements – Apple trees can thrive in soils ranging from medium textured clays to gravelly sands. However, the healthiest trees and best crops are found on well-drained fertile sandy soils and loams.

Apples do best in neutral to slightly acidic soil with a pH between 7.0 and 5.8. You can amend the pH level in acidic soil by incorporating lime before transplanting.

Crown rot (Phytophthora cactorum) is a common issue in poorly drained soil. Apple tree rooting is typically shallow, and wet soils tend to restrict root development. This subsequently results in poor anchorage and reduced extraction of nutrients for tree development.

Watering Requirements – Although apples contain high water content, apple trees do not need daily heavy watering. However, you should adjust your watering schedule to avoid dry soil and drought stress to your trees.

Water your trees in the early morning, or if your schedule doesn’t permit it, early evening watering will help your apple trees thrive.

Your watering schedule should increase in frequency as your apple trees begin to bear fruit, and return to normal after the harvesting period.

Pruning Requirements – Prune your apple trees in late winter, while the trees are in a state of dormancy. Remove any downward growing branches and dead or diseased branches; also remove any suckers growing from the base of the tree or within the root spread.

Suckers growing from tree trunk and roots

As pruning stimulates new growth, only emergency pruning (diseased branches, weather damage, etc.) should take place in late summer or fall. Any growth late in the season will not have time to harden in preparation for winter months dormancy and will die.

Pollination Requirements – On average, newly planted apple trees require 2 to 5 years to establish, mature, and bloom. Some species take 5 to 10 years to bloom and bear fruit. Like all fruit trees, pollination is required for apple trees to bear fruit.

Unless the species is self-fertile (Anna, Golden Dorsett, Gordon, etc.), cross-pollination is required. However, self-fertile species bear more heavy crops when cross-pollinated.

Proper pollination occurs when trees of different varieties bloom at the same time. Trees of the same variety won’t get the job done.

If you only have room for one apple tree and natural cross-pollination isn’t possible, you can purchase apple pollen from a local nursery and pollinate the tree by hand (be sure that the species are compatible for best results).

Watch this video to learn more about apple tree pollination.

Growing Apple Trees

With all the free apples after your first harvest, will you make apple pies, apple fritters, or apple sauce? By following these simple planting and care techniques, your apple trees will thrive and provide free apples for years to come.

In this article, you discovered how to acclimate your saplings, planting requirements, and care tips to give your apple trees their best chance to mature, thrive, and bear fruit.

It’s not enough to just plant an apple tree and hope it does well. For your apple tree to thrive, you must be knowledgable and pay attention to a host of easy to learn factors.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

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Is Tree Trimming the Same as Tree Pruning?

Tree Trimming Vs. Tree PruningA lot of people assume pruning and trimming are interchangeable words when it comes to trees. Interestingly, though, they are two different terms with two different meanings. For instance, they have distinct applications and functions. Meanwhile, they require different equipment– and timetables, too.

An Overview of Tree Pruning

How about pruning? It’s the term used when people are talking about trees and shrubs that need to improve their health because they’ve got parts considered infected, dead or broken. Pruning, then, cuts away these problem areas. Pruning is done to get rid of potential safety hazards and to make the trees or shrubs look more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

An Overview of Tree Trimming

How about trimming? This term goes best with shrubs and hedges who need a cleaner look. Trimming is generally done for design purposes, getting rid of extra dense foliage which blocks sunlight and moisture from reaching the surrounding landscape.

Equipment Used When Trimming or Pruning

What kind of equipment is used by companies like Big Foot Tree Service to perform pruning and/or trimming services? Pruning involves hand sheers and loping sheers. The sheers are used to cut through stems– hand sheers for stems up to three-quarter inches in diameter and loping sheers for those one and three-quarters of an inch in diameter– to give you a general idea. For thicker branches, a pruning saw might be used. Meanwhile, trimming isn’t usually done with sheers. Instead, trimming is accomplished using electric, gas-powered or manual clippers.

When Is it Time to Prune or Trim?

As for timetables, most trees and shrubs benefit from annual pruning. Typically, dormant trees are pruned in the winter in order to facilitate springtime growth. To boost flowering capacity, have a tree or shrub pruned immediately after its blooming cycle. While pruning is an annual thing, trimming is usually done twice a year, which helps with “maintenance” of how the shrub or hedge looks. One of the best times for trimming is right after flowering season.

If you’re not that familiar with pruning and trimming, consider hiring Big Foot Tree Service to take care of your trees, plants, shrubs, and hedges. Please call 973-885-8000. Big Foot Tree Service provides free estimates for work you’d like to have done.

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4 Reasons for Summer Tree Pruning

4 reasons for Summer Tree Pruning Portland Oregon
4 reasons for Summer Tree Pruning Portland Oregon

Even though most people prefer to do their pruning around winter time, performing tree pruning during summer does have its benefits, especially for fruit trees and trees that need damage control.  Also instead of being out in the cold trying to shape a tree most people tend to enjoy their tree pruning during the better weather months that we have in Portland, OR.

Here are 4 reasons to keep in mind during tree trimming and pruning during the summer months.  Keep in mind that each situation can be unique so feel free to talk to our Portland Arborist in order to help with their experience and tips.

Benefits of Tree Pruning During the Summer Months

  1. Benefits the Growth of Fruit Trees – Fruit trees are the trees that benefit the most from Summer Pruning.  Cutting branches and leaves that aren’t needed will inherently let more sunlight to infiltrate and hit the branches that need more development.  Portland tree pruning done the right way can also benefit trees to grow bigger fruit of better quality.  As we know trees are living and breathing so less wasted resources on branches that bring no benefit means more air and light to the healthy parts of the tree. It is highly recommended to prune cherry and apricot trees during the late summer months of July and August because if trimming is done during the rainy season then it increases the chances of these types to contract diseases.  Plum, Nectarine, and Peach trees also receive benefits from summer time pruning. These tend to grow quickly and tall fast but often don’t provide the proper development of strong branches. Pruning them during the summer can increase the growth of sturdy limbs and leave you with better quality fruit.  It’s always good to speak with a Portland tree pruning specialist to help you with your specific fruit tree.
  2. Get Rid of Dead Branches – Tree pruning during the summer is vital because it leaves us with the advantage of being able to remove diseased, dying, or damaged tree branches.  Keep in mind that the point of removing a damaged tree limb is to keep it from causing further damage to the rest of your tree. By getting rid of the dying limbs we increase the resources that will go towards better growth.  We also reduce the chance of the dying branch falling off and potentially causing damage to you, your family or property by anticipating controlling when it comes off by cutting it off ourselves.
  3. Prevent Pest Invasion – Preventing a pest invasion would be the only benefit on its own in order to encourage someone to do summer tree pruning. We need to identify any limbs or fruit that have signs of pest bites or damage and remove them in order to protect the rest of the healthy tree.  You are also preventing pests from invading the rest of your fruit trees leaving you with quality and scrumptious fruit for you and your family to enjoy. Also it is very important to dispose of these pest invaded branches and fruits far away so that the pests aren’t free to comeback in infest your tree again, please do not compost them on your property.
  4. Increased Growth –  Another benefit of pruning during the summer is that it is during a time of growth.  Our Portland Arborists recommends that the proper way to prune weak branch growth by pruning 3 inches from the end of each leafy shoot.  It’s recommended to repeat the pruning process after a few months if there is fast shoot growth occurring.

Summer Time Tree Pruning: Things to Consider

Tree Pruning during the Summer time is mostly to help give the tree a solid base and to shape it up since it’s easier to give it shape while the leaves are out as opposed to winter time pruning.  Although during the winter time it is better to do a more extensive pruning because it puts less stress on the tree. Keep in mind that if you are going to be trimming off some limbs it is best to do it during the early summer, this way it has time to heal.  If you do it too late in the season then the tree becomes at risk for water damage and with water comes a higher chance of fungi and diseases developing.

If you still have not decided if or when to prune or how much to cut or which limbs to cut you can always contact us here at R&H Tree Service. We are a professional and reputable Portland Tree Pruning Company.

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