Fall Colors May Not Be Vivid This Year

We took this photo the other day. We’d say drought conditions currently exist.  And because of that, colors may not be as brilliant this fall.

Our trees are under a lot of stress. Back in June, we had the driest 22 day period in record keeping history for DuPage County. July was under average for precipitation and between August 1st and today, we’ve only had 2.4 inches of rain.

We should all do what we can to water our lawns now so that when the rains do come, the ground is more able to absorb and accept it. If the ground is rock hard, most of the rain that falls will ‘sheet off’ to lower areas which might make trees go into the Winter too dry. Be sure to water root systems up until ground freeze should it stay unusually dry.  Click here to review the proper way to water your trees and shrubs.

Trees whose roots extend under dry lawn are really suffering right now. Shrubs and small trees, however, that are completely mulched in to their drip lines are under less stress as the mulch will help to retain soil moisture and deflect the sun. The exception is trees that were planted in the last 2 years. Pay particular attention to these trees even if they are mulched.

We have been getting several calls about tree leaves shriveling, drying out and dropping early. Some trees just look thin and sick. Watering now will begin to help. In addition, trees need water to display their best Fall colors.

Over 80% of our clients are scheduled for Fall High Pressure Root Fertilization  which is the most important thing you can do for your trees. We strongly recommend that you consider it!

We hope you take a moment to absorb the Fall beauty around us, even if colors may seem muted this year.

Beware of Lawn Care Company Scare Tactics

Once again, we are hearing from clients who state that their nationwide lawn care companies, whom will remain nameless, have left information that their property is under major attack from multitudes of insect and fungal issues. This scare tactic has been going on for years and most of you may have already experienced it.

To generate new sales, major national lawn care companies pay ‘bonuses’ to their lawn care employees who take the time to leave a supposed ‘property evaluation’ detailing all kinds of insect and fungal infestations supposedly spotted on their client’s trees and shrubs. Whether these employees know the names of certain insects and funguses given to them by these companies or not, what we find repeatedly is that what these companies say they see on your trees has nothing to do with these mentioned insects or funguses.

Many natural, environmentally related circumstances cause unavoidable leaf issues. Almost every residential property has trees or shrubs with Winter Burn or Summer Leaf Scorch, which is attributed to some unseen insect or fungus by companies who operate this way.

If you have received a notification like this, and wish to pursue it, we ask that you set up an appointment for their representative to meet you at your property. Tell them that a Tree Green representative will also be there to meet both of you, on a day and time of their choosing. We will discuss these purported issues and then you can decide what you want to do from there. We guarantee you that they will have some reason to avoid this.

The point is, if their lawn care people really knew and understood complex tree and shrub issues, they themselves would be treating trees and shrubs for those companies, not treating lawns. We don’t want to come off as bashing the competition, as we know that is not a good business practice.  But these tactics cause us so much aggravation, and so much wasted time answering questions from nervous clients, that we feel the need to call these companies out on this deceptive practice.

EAB Treatment Should Continue

First, Some Emerald Ash Borer History…

In Michigan, where this insect made its first appearance in the United States, the Emerald Ash Borer ravaged the state and killed every Ash tree that had not been properly treated within about 9 years. The Ash trees that were saved in Michigan are now on a reduced ‘maintenance’ program. We had expected Illinois to follow suit and thought, as we’re sure you could understand, that it should naturally take about the same amount of time to reach that point in Illinois. We assumed that by now, just over 9 years after the Borer made its way down to Illinois, that we would have been able to reduce our treatment program to a maintenance level as well. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to recommend that as of yet. Why is that?

There was a far larger population of Ash trees here in Illinois than there originally were in Michigan. At the time, there was no apparent reason to consider the difference in the number of Ash trees per state. However, once 2016 got here, which was the 9th year of the infestation here in Illinois, it was evident that there are still thousands of untreated Ash trees around us that hadn’t died yet. Why the difference? In our opinion, and in the opinions of noted Master Arborists, it’s because there are so many more Ash trees here in Illinois.  So, it is taking longer for the insects to kill them all. When there are more Ash trees for the Ash Borer to choose from, it means fewer insects per tree, thus delaying and dragging out the dying process.

ash trees with eabPlease notice the photo that we included which was taken this week. It shows three Ash trees in an office park on Warrenville Road just a few traffic lights East of Naperville Road. If you pay attention as you’re driving around, you’ll notice that there are still untreated Ash trees such as these all over DuPage and Kane County. They are in homeowner’s yards, on commercial properties and in our extensive and beautiful Forest Preserve system. As long as Ash trees exist that have any live growth on them at all, they are capable of supporting the Emerald Ash Borer population. One would think that the folks who own these damaged, dying trees, and who have chosen to not treat them, would realize that they would inevitably die and would remove them for aesthetic appeal if nothing else. Unfortunately, for whatever reason they are delaying removing their trees, so these Ash trees still stand continuing to put everyone else’s Ash at continued risk.

We do not have a more definitive answer as to when we will be able to reduce the treatment program against the Emerald Ash Borer but for the reasons just explained, we must stay with the current program. The insect is definitely on the downhill slide but we just aren’t there yet.