A Rough Spring Ahead?

We’ve recently noticed that certain types of flowering trees and shrubs have their 2016 flower buds swelling, and in a few instances, actually opening this December! Why? The trees are confused.

The abnormally warm November and December is tricking certain Magnolia, Crab Apple and potentially other plants into thinking they should be flowering. We’ve seen this happen before. What may unfortunately occur is this…

When the flower buds are tricked into swelling ahead of schedule, whether they actually open into flowers or not, they may be damaged by the inevitable cold winter which will surely follow. It may not be as cold as usual due to El Nino, but it will be cold enough to burn and dry out the buds. This means that your tree may not flower at all in 2016, or the flowering may be sparse or weak.

We already know that we will be receiving calls next spring where the messages will be as follows….

”You sprayed our tree last year and now it won’t flower”. Rest assured that if this happens to your tree, it has nothing to do with any applications. Mother Nature is the guilty party.

This situation can also occur when we have an unusually warm January or February. Those flower buds swell early, and then if we get night time freezing temperatures in March, ‘Winter Burn‘ sets in and the buds suffer from the same negative effect.

A lot will depend on the exact varieties of trees that are involved within each species, not to mention things like soil moisture as well as directional exposure in relation to your house or other mature plantings, which may or may not protect them from cold winter winds. Only time will tell as to whether or not your trees will be affected next spring.

Parkway Planting Hazardous to your Ash Trees’ Health

We hope you are enjoying our mild Chicago summer.  Even though the weather has been cooler than usual, that doesn’t mean your landscape doesn’t need special care.  Here is a photo that illustrates this beautifully:

Here you can see two lines of “Green Ash” trees on opposite sides of a parking lot. So why do those on the left look so much worse than the ones on the right?

Any tree on a parkway, sandwiched between the street and the sidewalk, is at risk as it ages. Its roots are in a ‘soil coffin’ so to speak and unable to freely stretch and grow.  Notice the cement coffin the Ash trees on the left are in compared to the Ash on the right. Although those on the right still have a parking lot on one side, they are much farther away from the lot. They are also at least 30 feet away from the building so the roots have a more expansive environment in which to grow.

This stress factor, combined with the constant onslaught from the Emerald Ash Borer, makes it more difficult to save these Ash trees. All of these Ash are under the same degree of Borer infestation but look how much stronger those on the right are…… temporarily. All of these trees, on both sides of the parking lot, will eventually succumb to the EAB without treatment; but obviously those on the left will die a year or two sooner.

Tree Green has had remarkable success treating Ash trees for Emerald Ash Borer.  Give us a call, and we’d be happy to give you a free evaluation.