Month: July 2022

Emerald Ash Borer Now in Oregon

The USDA recently confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer in Oregon. EAB for short, this invasive wood-boring beetle infests and kills ash trees. The beetles lay eggs in the bark crevices of trees. After hatching, larvae bore through into the tree where they feed. Their feeding and burrowing activity disrupts the flow of water and nutrients. As a result, infested trees begin to decline.

emerald ash borer
Adult emerald ash borer.

Emerald Ash Borer Spreading Steadily

EAB was first identified in the U.S. in 2002 in southeastern Michigan in 2002. The insect is native to Asia and most likely arrived on wooden shipping materials. Since its arrival, the pest has continued to extend its range to geographic regions that have ash trees. Emerald ash borer has killed millions of ash trees in North America.

In July 2022, the pest was confirmed in the Portland metro region, specifically Forest Grove, Oregon in Washington County. Confirmation from dead or dying trees usually indicates that the pest has actually been present for over a year. In this case, the Oregon Department of Agriculture estimates that EAB has likely been present for at least three to five years.

Protecting Ash Trees in Oregon

All ash species are at risk of infestation, including the Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia) as well as many other species planted as shade or street trees throughout the Pacific Northwest.

EAB is a highly destructive tree pest. Trees can succumb to infestation in just a few years. The insects prefer to lay eggs in the upper trunk and often go unnoticed. The canopy of the tree often yellows and begins thinning. D-shaped exit holes in the trunk indicate boring insects beneath the bark. Woodpecker activity can also signal the presence of larvae.

galleries beneath the bark of an ash tree
Emerald Ash Borer larvae create galleries beneath the tree bark.

For ash trees in the planted landscape, highly effective treatment options are available. Taking protective measures, before the beetle arrives in the area, is critical. Once decline of the tree is obvious, it may be too late to save the tree; too much internal damage has already occurred. If a tree is not to be treated, it should be removed, given that dead ash becomes very brittle and will begin dropping branches, becoming a safety issue.

Ash Tree Decline from Emerald Ash Borer
Ash tree showing canopy decline from emerald ash borer infestation.

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Shrub Pruning in Summer – Breaking the Rules

We often promote shrub pruning in winter during the dormant season when its easier to see the branching structure. Indeed, winter is a great time to undertake this task. However, you can prune shrubs year-round. Summer is as good a time as any as long as you pay attention to the particular needs of the species and keep your landscape goals in mind.

Sometimes, weather or other priorities make pruning challenging during the winter.  Not to worry. Here are some helpful tips on breaking the rules when it comes to summer shrub pruning.

shrub pruning

Reasons to Prune

One of the most common goals of shrub pruning is to manage size. You can trim both new and old growth to maintain the plant at an optimal size. Using hand pruners, you can remove the desired amount of current and previous season’s growth. However, it’s important to keep in mind the mature size and natural shape of the plant. During the initial planting, leave plenty of room for shrubs to grow to full size. This will help ensure you do not over prune as the plant grows. Be sure to hold off on any major structural pruning until the dormant season.

Maintenance pruning removes old branches and stems that do not flower well. It also includes eliminating broken, dead or dying branches. You can trim these at any time, ongoing as needed. In fact, during summer, it’s easier to spot defective branches that have not leafed out properly.

Selective thinning when shrubs become too dense improves light and air circulation. This promotes interior growth for a healthier plant with a natural appearance.

Best Time for Shrub Pruning

Trim shrubs in the summer as soon as possible after flowering to favor as many of next year’s flower buds as possible. The later into the summer pruning is done, the more gentle it should be to preserve as many flower buds as possible. Being judicious in later summer also limits the probability of winter injury on new growth that might not be adequately hardened off.

That said however, the worst that usually happens when pruning too late is that flowers are lost for a growing season. While there’s obviously a visual impact with reduced flowering, the plant itself won’t be harmed. The only exception is when winter injury occurs, which depends on many factors. The species and its susceptibility to cold plays a big role. Note that winter injury does not often kill entire, established plants.

The same principles apply to sheared hedge shrubs.  Shearing is usually undesirable for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that late-season shearing tends to encourage tender new growth that will not have time to harden off.  However, the winter injury that might result is rarely fatal to the entire plant.

In sum, if your shrubs really need the pruning, it’s probably be better to do it in summer than not at all and accept the small risks that entails.

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5 Medicinal Shrubs for Your Marietta Georgia Landscape

Medicinal shrub and tree species include multiple varieties found worldwide

What if the shrubs you planted were not only visually appealing, but also had medicinal and therapeutic properties. Knowing what medicinal shrubs to plant on your landscape can offer additional benefits and be utilized when needed. gathered the following species and growing information for 5 medicinal shrubs that should be planted in your Marietta, Georgia landscape.

What are Medicinal Shrubs

Medicinal shrubs, also called medicinal herbs or plants, are used for their scent, flavor, or therapeutic properties. Herbal medicines are one type of dietary supplement sold as tablets, capsules, powders, teas, extracts, and fresh or dried plant parts. People have used herbal medicines to maintain or improve their health for generations. Consider planting the following medicinal shrubs in your Marietta, Georgia yard and garden:

1. Peppermint (Mentha × piperita)

Medicinal shrub and tree species include peppermint

Peppermint is a hybrid mint. It is a cross between watermint and spearmint and is indigenous to Europe and the Middle East. Nowadays, the plant is grown and cultivated in many regions around the world.

Mature Size – Peppermint can reach heights of 3 feet and a width of 2 to 3 feet.
Sun Requirements – This species thrives in a part shade to full sun location.
Preferred Soil and pH – Peppermint is an adaptable plant but prefers well-draining, loose, organically-rich soil with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.0.
Water Requirements – Water this species 2 times per week, keeping soil evenly moist without saturating it.
Medicinal Value – Peppermint oil is promoted for topical use (applied directly to the skin) for headaches, muscle aches, joint pain, and itching/skin irritation. In aromatherapy, peppermint oil is used to treat coughs and colds, improve mental function, and significantly reduce stress.
Hardiness Zone – 5 through 10

2. Lavender (Lavandula)

Medicinal shrub and tree species include lavender

Lavender is a genus of 47 known species in the mint family. It is native to the Mediterranean’s hot, dry climate and can currently be found growing in most temperate climates worldwide.

Mature Size – Lavender can reach heights of 2 feet and a width of 2 to 3 feet.
Sun Requirements – This species thrives in a full sun location (6 hours or more).
Preferred Soil and pH – Lavender prefers well-draining soils with a pH ranging from 6.7 to 7.3.
Water Requirements – Water mature lavender plants every 2 to 3 weeks until buds form, then once or twice weekly until harvest.
Medicinal Value – Aromatherapists utilize lavender for inhalation therapy to treat headaches, nervous disorders, and exhaustion. Herbalists use lavender oil to treat skin ailments like fungal infections, wounds, eczema, and acne. This species is also used in healing baths for joint and muscle pain.
Hardiness Zone – 5 through 9

3. Neem (Azadirachta indica)

Medicinal shrub and tree species include neem

Since antiquity, neem has been renowned for healing. The earliest medical writings refer to the benefits of its fruits, seeds, oil, leaves, roots, and bark. Each of these elements has long been used in Indian medicine, and over thousands of years, millions of Asians have used neem medicinally.

Mature Size – Neem will typically grow as a tree reaching 50 to 65 feet tall with a well-rounded crown.
Sun Requirements – This species thrives in full sun – 6 hours or more.
Preferred Soil and pH – Neem will adapt to nearly any soil type and can tolerate pH values up to 8.5.
Water Requirements – Water mature neem specimens once weekly without overwatering.
Medicinal Value – Neem’s medicinal values are principally found in its foliage. Neem leaves exhibit immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperglycemic, anti-ulcer, anti-malarial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antioxidant, anti-mutagenic, and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Hardiness Zone – 10 through 12 (Marietta’s winter temperatures will likely cause this species to lose its foliage in the colder months)

4. Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum)

Medicinal shrub and tree species include cinnamon

This species bears clusters of tiny star-shaped flowers in springtime, becoming small, dark purple fruit that smells like cinnamon. However, the spice is made from the species’ bark.

Mature Size – Cinnamon will typically grow as a tree reaching 50 feet tall with a well-rounded crown.
Sun Requirements – This species requires full sun. Plant your cinnamon in a location that gets at least twelve hours of daily sunlight.
Preferred Soil and pH – Cinnamon thrives in well-drained sandy soil with a 4.5 to 5.5 pH.
Water Requirements – Water mature cinnamon specimens once or twice weekly without overwatering.
Medicinal Value – Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Has a Powerful Anti-Diabetic Effect. Cinnamon is well known for its blood-sugar-lowering properties.
Hardiness Zone – 9 through 11 (this species will require protection/shelter from Marietta’s winter temperatures)

5. Echinacea or Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Medicinal shrub and tree species include echinacea

Echinacea purpurea is a perennial herb native to the midwestern region of North America. It has tall stems that bear single pink or purple flowers with a central cone that is usually purple or brown. The large cone is a seed head with sharp spines resembling a stiff comb.

Mature Size – This species can reach heights of 4 feet and a width of 1 to 3 feet.
Sun Requirements – Echinacea thrives in full to partial sun, needing at least four hours of sunlight per day.
Preferred Soil and pH – Echinacea purpurea is adaptable to most soil types but prefers a sandy, well-drained loam and thrives in a 6.0 to 7.0 pH.
Water Requirements – Purple coneflowers require regular watering – about 1-inch per week.
Medicinal Value – Use echinacea to shorten the common cold and flu, and reduce symptoms, like sore throat, cough, and fever. Herbalists also recommend echinacea to help boost the immune system, helping the body fight infections.
Hardiness Zone – 3 through 9

Medicinal Shrubs in Marietta, Georgia Landscapes

In this article, you discovered species, growing, and medicinal information for several species that can thrive in Marietta, Georgia, landscapes.

Knowing which medicinal plant, shrub, or tree species to grow in your Marietta, Georgia, yard will help you grow an eclectic and intriguing landscape.

Without knowing shrubs can serve more than landscaping purposes, you would miss the therapeutic and healing advantages that some offer.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

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

Fruit Trees Add Color AND Flavor in Your Landscape

For a varied and interesting landscape design, fruit bearing trees and shrubs are a good choice. It’s one way to add color and keep it longer.

As always, think carefully to ensure you are planting the right tree in the right place. With fruit trees in particular, there are some caveats to consider before you decide. Fruit attracts birds and other types of wildlife. Bird and bee-friendly landscaping is beneficial to local ecosystems. These visitors can pollinate plants and, in the case of birds, even help control pests on a property. However, it is important to remember that some of the fruit  will end up on the ground and may require clean up. You may also have to do a little extra research when planting.  Some fruit trees are self-propagating while others require male and female plants to bear fruit.

Another important consideration is the care of these trees. Ornamentals are smaller in structure so droughts, frosts and damaging winds are more likely to result in damage. On the other hand, their small size makes them ideal for a small property or space in a garden. Pruning and maintenance can maintain the proper structure for the environment where the plant is growing.

Some fruit trees and shrubs are excellent candidates for use with trellises to create a beautiful wall of color. This method is called “espalier” in which plantings are trained to an existing form. Further, color is not limited to bark, foliage or flowers. The fruit itself is colorful and will last longer through the seasons. In fact, some fruit bearers have all four accents – interesting bark, foliage, beautiful flowers and then colorful fruit.

Citrus, apple, lemon and cherry are popular fruit trees depending on geographic location. But there are many other options!

Quince (Cydonia oblonga)

quince fruit

The quince is shrubby and slow growing to 10-25 feet. Known for its umbrella shape, this multi-trunked, small tree produces delicious fruit and requires little maintenance. It has interesting branches that are knotty and twisty. After leaf bud in the spring, white to light pink flowers appear. Following, the leaves change to yellow in autumn. The fruit is fragrant, large and yellow when ripe. Quince is tolerant of most soils, but can struggle in summer humidity.

Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera)

With fragrant white flowers and sweet yellow or reddish fruit, cherry plum grows to 25 feet tall in Zones 4-8. Beautiful bark is dark red shade. There are many popular cultivars. “Atropurpurea” has purple leaves and pale rose flowers. “Thundercloud” has pale pink flowers with purple leaves.

Pecan and Hickory (Carya illinoinensis) (Carya ovata)

pecan nuts

Here are two “cousins,” the pecan and shagbark hickory. Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) is a deciduous shade tree that native to the southeast,  Zones 7-9. It achieves moderate growth to 100 feet with an equal spread and a rounded crown. Disease can be an issue as pecan is susceptible to scab. Olive brown to black spots on leaves, twigs and on the husks of the pecans are signs of disease. Try varieties that are scab resistant such as “Chickasaw” or “Kaddo.”

Shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) is deciduous and native to the southeast, Zones 5-9. It has an irregular oval head and obtains a growth of 70-80 feet. The leaves are large and separated into many leaflets. They are green when they appear in spring and turn golden yellow in the fall. Hickory nuts ripen from September to October. As the trees age the bark becomes “shaggy,” making this tree even more attractive and interesting — especially in winter.

Persimmon (Diospyros kaki) (Diospyros virginiana)

persimmon fruit

The Oriental or Kaki persimmon grows moderately to 20-30 feet with the branches spreading equally. It adapts best to Zones 7-9 but can be grown in 6. The foliage in spring  is a soft, light green that deepens to a darker green in summer. Fall colors are yellow, red and orange. The fruit is bright orange and is sweet. Fruiting varieties include: “Fuyu,” “Hachiya” and “Chocolate.” The bark is also interesting and very recognizable with deep fissures that form rectangles. This planting is ideal for small properties as it can be planted in containers or trained to espalier against a southern wall where it is warmer. It is pest resistant and likes moisture. Fertilization in early spring will minimize fruit drop.

The American common persimmon is deciduous and native to the east, Zones 5-9 but can be grown in Zone 4. It achieves a moderate growth to 30-50 feet with an oval form. The American persimmon shares the good qualities of the oriental including unique bark, and it is more widely adapted. It tolerates a range of different soils and climates. Fruit production requires a male and a female plant.

These are just a few of the fruit trees and shrubs that are available for your landscape. Other plantings like crabapples, pear and cherries are available in many different varieties and they are just as beautiful and adaptable as the ones listed here. The more thought given before planting, the better the results.

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Eucalyptus Tree Information – Pros and Cons

Eucalyptus trees grow fast and spread quickly

Avoid planting a tree species that’s not well suited for your yard. Knowing the pros and cons of eucalyptus tree species will help you make informed decisions about what to plant in your yard. gathered the following information, pros, and cons of eucalyptus trees and how they affect their surroundings.

Eucalyptus Trees

Eucalyptus globulus Labill is an evergreen aromatic tree in the Myrtle Family (Myrtaceae). This tree species commonly reaches 150 to 180 feet in height and has a diameter of 4-7 feet. This tree has a straight trunk up to two-thirds of its total height and boasts a well-developed crown.

Eucalyptus Tree Foliage

Eucalyptus tree species are evergreens. Unlike other northern hemisphere trees that are deciduous in harsh fall and winter periods, eucalypts have leaves all year. These trees are described as ‘sclerophylls,’ meaning ‘hard-leaved.’ The species’ leaves are thick, leathery, and tough due to lignin and do not easily wilt. When eucalyptus trees are used for privacy screening, this attribute is their greatest pro.

Eucalyptus Tree Stands

A properly functioning watershed has a forest or tree stand with three canopy levels; a lower (understory), middle (middle story), and top or (overstory). With all three canopy levels, the trees can better trap water by slowing rainfall, trapping mist from the air on leaves, which drips into the soil and naturally replenishes the water table below. However, when the stand or forest is composed of eucalyptus, there will only be an overstory canopy level, and the ground will be practically devoid of understory trees and plants.

The leaves and roots of eucalyptus trees inhibit other plants from growing under them due to naturally-occurring chemicals. Having no middle or lower canopies causes soil to easily dislodge and wash downslope through streams and rivers, which can rapidly increase land and soil erosion.

Note: Many plants produce compounds that will inhibit or stop the growth of nearby plants to better compete for nutrients, sunlight, and other vital resources. This is known as allelopathy, and black walnut, maple, pine, and eucalyptus species are some of the better-known examples of tree species that employ this. Allelopathy is a severe con to planting eucalyptus trees on your property.

Invasive Eucalyptus Roots

Since a eucalyptus tree’s lateral roots spread up to 100 feet outward, they are known to grow into ditches, plumbing pipes, and septic tanks, damaging, clogging, and cracking them. In fact, eucalyptus roots penetrating or lifting foundations is a common complaint when this species is planted too close to a home.

If you choose to plant eucalyptus trees, you can limit or prevent some of the dangers associated with its shallow root system by placing root barriers and with proper planting and maintenance. Plant eucalyptus trees so the distance away from utilities, structures, driveways, sidewalks, and roadways is equal to two-thirds the potential mature height of the tree.

Note: Eucalyptus roots will typically encroach on a structure’s foundation only when there is an active water source like a burst pipe or poorly connected drain. This attribute of the eucalyptus species is a severe disadvantage to its planting.

Eucalyptus Tree Dangers

While there are many attractive advantages to the eucalyptus species, there are some downright terrifying disadvantages to having the species anywhere near your property. Consider these eucalyptus species’ cons:

Water – Eucalyptus trees have a terrible reputation as extensive water users and significant contributors to soil depletion. While they do need copious quantities of water, their colossal taproot can find moisture even in the most barren areas. This voracious appetite helps maintain their incredibly rapid growth.

Toxicity – Some homeowners place eucalyptus leaves around their homes for their aroma or will plant eucalyptus in their landscapes. However, eucalyptus plant foliage is toxic to animals and humans if ingested.

Toppling – Eucalyptus trees are prone to falling because of their shallow spreading roots that don’t do an efficient job of anchoring or steadying the tree in loose soil or when an external force places overwhelming pressure against the trunk and branches.

Exploding – Eucalyptus oil gives off flammable fumes, and these fumes can be ignited by lightning, flying sparks, and cinders, causing the tree to explode.

Fireballs – During brush or forest fires, the eucalyptus species releases great quantities of flammable gas that mix with air to produce fireballs full of sparks and embers exploding out in front of the fire.

Note: According to North Carolina State University, eucalyptus foliage and bark are considered poisonous in large amounts. If too much is ingested, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can result.

Eucalyptus Tree Uses

Eucalyptus trees are popular worldwide for their fast growth aromatic foliage and beautiful flowers

Knowing the dangers posed by growing eucalyptus trees, it is difficult to believe that anything good can come from this species. Consider the following (surprising) benefits:

• Eucalyptus oil Is naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal
• Eucalyptus vapors can decrease and clear mucus
• Eucalyptus is used for household cleaning
• Eucalyptus soothes and refreshes dry skin on contact
• Eucalyptus is an efficient insect repellant

Note: Topically applied, eucalyptus can offer you a break from everyday aches and pains.

Eucalyptus Trees Species Pros and Cons

In this article, you discovered essential information, pros, cons, and unusual species traits for the incredibly robust eucalyptus tree species.

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of planting a eucalyptus tree on your property will help you make informed decisions about planting distances and tree safety.

Planting a eucalyptus tree without knowing how to care and its potential for invasive roots can unintentionally cause costly damages to your property.


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Why You Should Have a Professional Remove Your Tree Stump

Tree Stump RemovalStorms damage trees. Chain saws cut them down. And what remains? The hard-to-remove stumps.

Why are stumps so hard to get out of the ground? Well, underneath the stump are strong roots. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, good luck digging and chopping with your shovel and axe. After all that hard work, how are you going to actually remove that heavy stump—by hand? No. You could attach a rope to it, and try to pull it out using your lawn mower or truck. It can get pretty dangerous, especially if the rope snaps. Once it’s out of the hole, where do you put the monstrosity?

Professional Stump Removal

Save yourself the time and frustration of stump removal by hiring a professional company like Big Foot Tree Service to do the work for you.

It’s a smart idea to remove stumps so they don’t get in the way of mowing your lawn. Stumps also trip people up, especially when they’re covered with weeds and a person doesn’t realize they’re there. In addition, old stumps attract a variety of pests who want to call them home. Termites, roaches, ants, squirrels and snakes are attracted to stumps.

Safety and Efficiency

A professional stump removal company has the proper equipment and know-how to remove stumps safely and efficiently. Since they do the job often, they become experts at getting stumps out without making a giant mess in the yard. Furthermore, with the right machinery, stump grinding can occur on the property, turning the stump into wood mulch—a good way to “recycle” these days.

Most importantly, getting rid of stumps makes a yard look nicer to passersby and the people who see it every day. If you were looking to buy a house with a nice yard, and two were exactly alike—same price, same layout—but one had seven stumps awkwardly scattered across  the front yard while the other had no stumps—just lush green grass—which would you prefer?

In Northern New Jersey, Big Foot Tree Service can and will get rid of your stumps professionally. Call the company at 973-885-8000 today and ask for a free estimate.

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