Is it Time to Spray Yet?

Wow, what a Spring! It’s almost May and leaves still aren’t present on trees and shrubs, but they should start to explode soon.  If you’re wondering if now is the time to spray for apple scab, the answer is not yet.

Please trust us to know when the optimal time to apply treatment in the western suburbs is. We monitor the plants that the fungal spores originate from, and once we see that they are becoming active we have a 10-day window to apply your 1st treatment.

For the record this will officially be the latest start to the fungicide treatment schedule in our 48 years in the tree care industry. The latest we ever ‘started’ these applications was April 29th with our 10-day window beginning from that date. From the looks of the situation, at the moment, we will be starting sometime in early May.

Remember to keep an eye on your trees and shrubs throughout the Spring and Summer for any new ‘situations’ that might arise. We work in cooperation with you in caring for your trees and shrubs as we are only on your property a few times a season but you are there every day!

Enjoy the Spring….once it gets here.

Crab Apple Trees Flowering in November?

You may have noticed that certain varieties of Crab Apple trees are displaying some  minor flowering right now. The below photo was taken October 31st.

The months of September and October were abnormally warm. This warm weather will confuse many flowering trees and shrubs.

Flower buds for the following year always form during the prior season. Ordinarily these buds sit closed on the tree throughout the Fall and Winter waiting on Spring. However, if the Fall season is unseasonably warm and those buds receive above average warmth for an extended period of time, a second flowering can occur.

What this means is that these trees will not flower as fully next Spring and in some rare cases, may not flower at all depending on the variety of tree involved. Even though you may not be seeing this second flowering occurring on your tree at the present time, that does not mean that your tree might not be affected next year.

Even if flower buds fail to open as those shown in the photo, they may have swelled beyond the point that they normally would. If that is the case, it is possible that Winter’s cold temperatures and winds might burn the swollen buds that are not as dense, compact and insulated as they normally would be. Should this occur, the buds will sustain damage and not open next Spring. Only time will tell.

On a better note, we have been driving past clients homes this Fall checking on our fungal treated Crab Apple trees and we hope you are as happy with their condition as we are. We promised our new treatment products for 2017 would produce tremendous results and they obviously have! We are seeing Crabs that are still fully leafed!

Have a wonderful Fall and upcoming Holiday Season.

Better Treatment for Apple Scab

We are certain that all of our customers are loving their treated Crab Apple, Hawthorne and Maple trees this year!

A clients Crab Apple treated by Tree Green. Photographed 8/17/17.
Notice the thick, full canopy and the shade and privacy the tree provides.

Apple Scab Fungus is horrendous again this year as is evidenced by this second photo. If Apple Scab is really bad then so is Quince Rust on Hawthornes and Tar Spot Fungus on Maples.

This photo was also taken on 8/17/17 and is on the same street as the Crab in the 1st photo.

As you drive around, compare your treated, crab apple’s appearance to others in your neighborhood. You will notice a similar, amazing difference!

How did we come up with an effective treatment? What happened was this…

Two years ago, in 2015, we received 8 or 9 calls from clients saying their Crab Apple seemed to be suffering from Apple Scab despite us having treated their tree that season. Upon inspection, we did see some of the fungus present and although their Crab didn’t look nearly as bad as their neighbors un-treated Crab, they weren’t the results they, or we, were used to getting. Since we had only received 8 or 9 calls out of over 1,200 Crab Apple clients we thought that maybe it was a fluke and some other environmental issues were at play so we didn’t make too much of it.

But then 2016 came along and with it so did over 40 calls and emails from clients with the same observation; their Crabs seemed to have Apple Scab despite having received treatment. We figured if 40 clients called, there could have possibly been another 100 or so who noticed the same thing but chose not to call, attributing the lack of results as we did the year prior, to be a fluke.

We went back and looked at the trees of the 8 or 9 clients who had initially called in 2015. Those trees were in even worse shape in 2016 than they were the year prior so we knew there was a serious issue to deal with. We knew this trend would accelerate  rapidly in the next few years.

We determined that the fungal spores were developing a ‘resistance’ to the high-end fungicidal products that we have used for over 20 years so we had to make a change. Fungicides come in 9 different classifications. This year we decided to make a wholesale change and switched to entirely different, and more expensive, classifications of fungicides to get better results this season. Going forward we will rotate products year to year to prevent the possibility of another resistance issue.

Tree care is a highly complex field. It’s not much different than your doctor making a change in personal medications when they find that an earlier medication is not working to its expected potential. We’ve all heard about antibiotics no longer controlling certain infections.

So what did we do?

This year we acidified the spray tank water to lower the water’s pH to a level that helps products work at their peak. Then we mixed three (3) different classifications of fungicidal products together and added a surfactant that helps the product better absorb into the leaf and repel rain after it has been applied. We know of no other company who goes to the lengths that we do to get the best possible results.

If we treated your Crab Apple this season, we hope that you really enjoy your healthy Crab Apple tree(s). Sorry in advance for all the extra leaves you will have to rake this Fall!  Enjoy the rest of your Summer.