Yellowing Evergreens

yellowing needles on Scotch Austrian pinesBeginning in August of every year and continuing into the Fall, we’ll get calls from concerned clients that their evergreens trees are yellowing or browning. Many think their trees are dying.

Interior Yellowing of Evergreens or Pines is a common and normal occurrence. This happens to the innermost needles closest to the trunk or base of the limbs. As long as the outer portions of the trees are green, the trees are fine. If entire limbs are dying all the way out and into this year’s growth, then it’s a different story.

For more information on what’s happening, check out our blog post from last fall.

Magnolia Scale Causing Damage

magnolia scale magnolia with white spots - scale

We realize that there are many different types of Scale insects, but by far Magnolia Scale is the most prevalent these days.

This year, we are getting inundated with phone calls from homeowners whose magnolias have Scale. Their trees are developing blackened branches and leaves, and the shrubs, perennials, concrete, decking and deck furniture under them are also turning into a black, sticky mess. A black fungus called ‘Sooty Mold’ develops and grows on anything the dripping sap lands on.

These insects are sucking the moisture and nutrients out of these trees; and left unchecked, this can result in the death of the tree.

This problem will only worsen year to year as the insects will mate this Fall and leave behind Scale offspring which will overwinter and spread heavier again next year.

Check the undersides of your Magnolias branches. If you spot this Scale, give us a call. We would be happy to stop at your home to inspect your trees and leave you more information regarding treatment and pricing.

Too Little Topsoil Leads to Weak Root Systems

This photo shows a parkway tree that recently fell in a wind storm. You have heard from us that all trees of importance to your property should be fertilized once or twice yearly. Fertilization is all that much more important if your property has minimal top soil and a lot of clay.

In most subdivisions builders scraped off the deep top soil and sold much of it off. Then they built the house and re-deposited far too little top soil to benefit trees as they age and mature. Trees in these types of neighborhoods need proper fertilization all that much more.

Please look at this photo closely. It clearly shows exactly what we are talking about. Do you notice how few, if any, ‘structural roots’ are evident in this photo? They are seemingly nonexistent. Upon closer examination we noticed there was only 4 inches of top soil on top of solid clay and all the roots were tiny, fibrous roots, trying to support that large tree.

We are not saying feed your trees because they may fall over, (but obviously, that’s possible), we are simply showing how limited and sparse a trees root system can be and how you may not even realize how limited until you see a photo like this. Then you have to ask yourself, how healthy could that tree actually have been?

Trees add value to your property, and they are worth taking care of.