Andy’s Monthly Tree Report – April 2023

This is the first article of a new monthly series where Plant Health Care Manager & Consulting Arborist, Andy Berg, will provide a local tree report, discussing the latest happenings in the world of urban trees and landscapes. At Hansen’s Tree Services, our team of ISA Certified Arborists are observing trees on a daily basis, so we have the front line knowledge of what is occurring in your neck of the woods.

2023 Big Takeaways

Here we are wrapping up April with the new growing season already rolling in strong. Before diving into the current season’s report next month, I’d like to summarize some of the main plant problems I had witnessed most often last year:

Improper Planting

As is the case every year, a TON of urban trees are being installed incorrectly – most often too deep, but sometimes too shallow. Be sure the root flare is exposed and level with the surrounding ground. Do not practice volcano mulching!

Scale Insects

Scale insects, particularly armored scales, were plentiful. Gloomy, Japanese maple, and oystershell scale were found in many landscapes. Thespecies most often associated with  these bugs were Japanese maple, Freeman maple, red maple, and European hornbeam.

Untreated Ash Trees

Most untreated ash trees in this region are too far gone for treatment if they’ve never been treated before. Not all of them, but most of them. The emerald ash borer population is explosive and here to stay for some time.

Wood Decay

Often overlooked by tree practitioners, wood decay fungi is the silent killer that is tough to spot and hard to manage. Some of the major players in this region are Armillaria, Pseudoinonotus, Ganoderma, and Kretzschmaria. I saw a fair amount of these guys last year
and condemned quite a few trees. I wouldn’t expect much different this year.

Chlorotic Oaks

These were not few and far between. Disturbed urban soils with a high pH and/or a lack of adequate nutrition may cause your red oak species’ foliage to yellow. The yellow leaf is one that lacks chlorophyll, which means a lack of energy production causing increased stress.

Report Wrap-up

This is nothing more than a handful of many potential tree issues in this region that were observed last season. Next month I will touch on the spring pests that have welcomed themselves into our landscapes.

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