Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Tree Root Rot Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Root rot disease causes and identification

Don’t let root rot cause your trees to suddenly decline, die, and fall. Knowing how to identify root rot symptoms will help you save your tree or take action before it causes catastrophic property damages.

72tree.com gathered information on the causes of root rot in trees, how to recognize its symptoms, and what treatments you can use to stop or prevent it.

Tree Root Rot Causes

When root rot attacks a tree, the flow of water and nutrients from the roots to the crown is either impeded, or the invading pathogen is carried throughout the tree, killing its host. The following are several of those pathogens:

Rhizoctonia (this fungal pathogen adversely affects younger hosts, older trees are found to be more resistant)

Pythium (this fungus of the Pythiaceae family has 140 known species, most of which are now classified as parasites)

Rhododendron Root Rot (Phytophthora cactorum and Phytophthora cinnamomi were first thought to only survive in subtropical countries but is now known to thrive in cooler countries)

Fusarium (found worldwide, some of this pathogen’s species can adversely affect humans when infected crops are consumed)

Rosellinia necatrix (Dematophora necatrix, Hypoxylon necatrix, and Pleurographium necator, known as one of the most devastating plant fungal diseases, affecting several fruit tree and crop species)

Honey Fungi, Shoestring Root Rot, or Openky (Armillaria frequently occurs in hardwoods and pines)

Texas Root Rot (Phymatotrichopsis, Phymatotrichum, Cotton, or Ozonium root rot occurs more frequently in Mexico and the southwestern United States, causing sudden wilt and death)

Note: Fungal spores naturally occur and lie dormant in soil. These spores only begin reproducing when conditions support it. Such conditions include compacted soil, poorly-drained soil, and overwatering. As the fungi reproduce, tree roots provide a prime source of nutrients, allowing them to spread quickly.

Symptoms of Tree Root Rot

Root rot disease symptoms and treatment

Most visible symptoms of root rot strikingly resemble the signs of an advanced pest infestation, making an accurate diagnosis more difficult. The most common, above ground, symptoms of root rot include:

• Gradual or sudden decline without a detectible reason
• Severely stunted or poor growth patterns
• Smaller, chlorotic leaves or needles (new growth)
• Wilted, yellowed, or browned leaves or needles
• Dieback
• Severe canopy thinning
• Stress crops (abnormally large amount of fruit/seeds)
• Fungal fruiting structures (mushrooms) found on the root flare or growing from surface roots
• Once in the xylem and phloem (cambium), cankers or sunken dead areas may appear on branches or the trunk of the host

A more accurate way to diagnose root rot is to dig to the roots to see if decay is present. Care should be taken when exposing roots to avoid inflicting further harm to the tree.

Note: Anthracnose is another group of fungal pathogens that cause similar above-ground tree damage but are not typically associated with root rot. You can find further information about anthracnose at 72tree.com/symptoms-of-anthracnose/

Tip: Hire an ISA certified arborist to inspect and accurately diagnose the cause(s) of the symptoms you have identified.

Tree Root Rot Treatment

Trees can sometimes be saved early on by pruning out infected roots. If a tree is in an advanced state of decline, the recommended way to control root rot diseases from spreading is to entirely remove it.

Chemical treatments that include propiconazole, chloropicrin, fosetyl-aluminum, or methyl bromide, among others, won’t completely cure or remove the disease but can reduce the infection level. These treatments are applied in and around the root plate of infected trees and especially in holes left after infected trees, and their stumps have been removed.

Note: The application of chemical treatments on your trees (for any reason) should be performed as directed on the product labeling and closely monitored by a certified arborist.

Root Rot Prevention for Trees

Root rot disease protection for surface roots soil and overwatering

Trees have adapted over millennia to protect themselves against infection and illness. They are efficient at protecting themselves when healthy, and you can further assist them in resisting root rot by:

• Avoiding overwatering
• Ensuring proper water drainage by amending/enriching soil structure
• Preventing soil compaction on or around the root plate
• Protecting surface roots and trunks from mechanical and/or equipment damage
• Immediately addressing storm damage and/or soil erosion
• Removing unsalvageable trees from your property
• Planting disease-resistant species

Tip: You can also help trees fight fungal attacks by promoting their health. These are some of the things you can do to improve their health:

• Seasonal pruning
• Seasonally applying and refreshing organic mulch
• Deep watering (especially during drought conditions)
• Pre-growing season fertilization
• Annual tree inspections by a certified arborist

Note: The importance of annual tree inspections cannot be overstated. The ability to detect problems in their beginning stages offers more options to eliminate existing problems and take measures to prevent issues throughout the tree’s growing season.

Tree Root Rot

In this article, you discovered valuable information about the causes of tree root rot, recognizing its symptoms, and how to treat it or prevent it.

Taking swift action when root rot is suspected in your trees will increase your chances of saving them and preventing further infection.

Ignoring the signs of root rot will render your tree unsalvageable, invite other disease and infestation, and potentially cause catastrophic property damage when your tree destabilizes and falls.

Sources:
extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/root-rots-trees-and-shrubs
ceventura.ucanr.edu/Com_Ag/Subtropical/Avocado_Handbook/Diseases/Root_rot,_how_to_spot_it_and_what_to_do_about_it/
forestpathology.org/root-diseases/
extension.psu.edu/rhizoctonia
hyg.ipm.illinois.edu/pastpest/199922c.html

This article was first published on: http://www.72tree.com/tree-root-rot-causes-symptoms-treatments/

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Kudzu Vines Killing Trees

Kudzu out competes everything from grass to plants and even mature healthy trees

Keep your trees from being engulfed and killed by invasive kudzu vines. Knowing how to stop and control kudzu vines will help you save your trees, shrubs, and plants.

72tree.com assembled the following information about kudzu vines to help you understand their destructive nature and keep them from causing catastrophic damages to your trees.

Kudzu Vines and Trees

Kudzu vines can trail or climb. When they climb trees, they practically glue themselves to the bark of their host as they climb. Once breaching the canopy, the vine spreads rapidly, causing extreme shading of the tree.

If the affected tree doesn’t decline from girdling, it will certainly die once the vine completely overshadows the canopy unless immediate action is taken.

How To Safely Remove Kudzu from a Tree – The following steps will help you stop kudzu vines from killing your trees.

• Locate and cut the vine’s lower-most growth at the base of the tree
• Apply a 50% solution of triclopyr to the vine’s stumps to kill the roots
• Let the vine die on the tree. Pulling it off may cause severe bark damage.

Tip: Persistent weeding, mowing, and/or grazing (especially during the growing season) will deter the vine from reestablishing itself.

Kudzu Invasive Species

Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata) vines are fast-growing, woody, hairy, trailing, or climbing vines that can grow to lengths of 100 feet with a massive taproot. The vine has large compound leaves with three broad leaflets. The plant bears long flower clusters of late-blooming reddish to purple flowers and brown, hairy, flattened seed pods.

Kudzu flowers are late blooming red to purple clusters that yield flattened seed pods

Introduction to the US – Kudzu, native to Asia, was introduced to the United States in the late 1800s as a means of erosion control, livestock forage, and ornamental purposes (introduction occurred in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition where it was exhibited as an ornamental vine).

Plant Reproduction – Kudzu’s spread is primarily vegetative by taking root at nodes where the vines contact soil and subsequently form entirely new plants. The plant can also spread by seed, but few viable seeds are found in each pod.

Plant Growth and Habitat – Pueraria montana grows well in multiple habitats and soil types. Its most aggressive growth rate occurs where winters are mild, average summer temperatures are above 80°F, and annual rainfall reaches or surpasses 40 inches. However, the plant’s robust root system helps it survive summer or extended drought conditions. In areas where the plant successfully establishes itself, it can be found in abundance along roadsides, old/abandoned fields, forest edges, and other sunny areas.

Since its introduction, kudzu has spread fervently. It is currently present from New York to Florida and from nearly the entire eastern seaboard as far west as Arizona (Oregon and Washington have also reported confined cases of the species).

USDA Classification – In 1953, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) removed this plant species from its list of allowable cover plants. Then in 1970, kudzu was listed as a common weed of the South.

Note: By growing up to 12 inches per day, this invasive species can out-compete and kill everything from grasses to mature trees, crowding and shading them.

Kudzu vines overgrowing trees

Kudzu Control and Prevention

Effective control methods of Pueraria montana depend on the size and location of the infestation. Consider the following:

Small or Poorly-Established Patches – These can usually be eliminated by repeated weeding, mowing, and/or grazing during the growing season.

Large or Well-Established Infestations – While weeding, mowing, and/or grazing effectively slow this type of infestation, it will typically not kill the roots of the larger plants.

These infestations can also be controlled with a foliar solution of 2% to 3% glyphosate or triclopyr plus a 0.5% non-ionic surfactant to thoroughly wet all the leaves.

After surface vegetation is controlled, you can dig and cut into the central root system and apply a 50% solution of glyphosate or triclopyr to the wounded roots.

When an infestation encroaches on desired vegetation, avoid using chemical control methods and manually remove the plant(s).

Tip: All treatments should be monitored for multiple growing seasons to prevent re-sprouting.

Advisory: When using any herbicide or pesticide, follow all directions/instructions on the label. “The label is the law!”

Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata)

In this article, you discovered essential information about kudzu vines, how to stop them from killing your trees, and how to eliminate them altogether.

By taking swift action to control this highly invasive plant species, you can prevent your trees and landscape from being over-grown and snuffed out.

When you ignore a kudzu infestation, you are potentially signing a death warrant for all vegetation in its path, ranging from grasses to mature, healthy trees.

Sources:
ncforestservice.gov/publications/Forestry%20Leaflets/IS08.pdf
invasivespeciesinfo.gov/terrestrial/plants/kudzu
invasive.org/browse/subthumb.cfm?sub=2425&start=1
eddmaps.org/distribution/usstate.cfm?sub=2425
npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomydetail?id=314966

This article was first published on: http://www.72tree.com/kudzu-vines/

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Why Do Trees Die

Trees dying from hydraulic failure

Prevent the environment, disease, and insect activity from killing your trees. Knowing why trees die will help you take notice and intervene on threats to your tree’s life.

72tree.com assembled the following information about the many factors that lead to the death of trees, the signs and symptoms of a dying tree, and what to do about it.

1. Tree Diseases

Tree diseases can wreak havoc on your trees, and in some instances, kill them in a single growing season. The following are some of the more common diseases that infect trees:

• Anthracnose (Glomerella cingulata)
• Fire Blight (Erwinia amylovora)
• Diplodia Tip Blight (Sphaeropsis sapinea)
• Oak Wilt (Ceratocystis fagacearum)
• Dutch Elm Disease (Ophiostoma ulmi)
• Canker Diseases (caused by multiple fungal pathogens)

Signs and Symptoms – Trees infected with different diseases will display different symptoms. However, all should be treated with haste to prevent the decline and death of the infected tree. The following symptoms can help you diagnose the disease you are dealing with

Anthracnose – Sunken spots or lesions of various colors in foliage, stems, fruit, and/or flowers. Some infections lead to cankers on twigs, branches, and trunk.

Treatment – If this disease is caught early enough, extensive pruning may halt its progression, allowing the tree to compartmentalize affected areas.

Read more about anthracnose at 72tree.com/symptoms-of-anthracnose/

Fire Blight – Sudden brownish-black withering and death of blossoms, leaves, twigs, fruit spurs, and branches are signs of this disease. Heavily affected trees will appear scorched by fire and may die altogether.

Leaves infected and blackened by fire blight

Treatment – Extensive pruning of affected areas and copper fungicides. However, there is no cure for fire blight. Removal of the tree should be considered before the pathogen spreads to neighboring trees and shrubs.

Further reading on fire blight can be found at 72tree.com/preventing-fire-blight-tree-disease/

Diplodia Tip Blight – This disease infects conifers, first killing needles at the tips of branches. Symptoms typically appear on the lower half of the tree, progressing upwards. When new needles begin expanding, they end up stunted, turn yellow, then tan or brown.

Treatment – This pathogen responds to fungicide treatments. Treatment should start at bud break in the spring for effective control. Pruning out damaged areas, and cones should also be removed, as they hold fungal spores.

This blight can be controlled, but not cured. As with any needle blight disease, the objective of spraying the tree is to break the cycle of infection in emerging needles. Many seasons of treatments are needed before noticeable results are achieved.

Oak Wilt – This disease infects oak trees. It can be identified as mature foliage develops a dark green water-soaked appearance, or may turn pale green or bronze, starting at the leaf margins and progressing toward the center of the leaf. This usually begins on a single branch and quickly spreads throughout the entire crown. Red oaks can die within 4 to 6 weeks after symptoms appear.

Dead leaves on tree with Bretziella fagacearum oak wilt disease

Treatment – Once an oak tree is infected with oak wilt, there is no known treatment capable of ridding the tree of the disease. Infected trees should be professionally removed.

Note: Healthy oaks can be injected with a fungicide known as Propiconazole to suppress oak wilt disease. Since Oak Wilt is spread by root grafts and insect carriers, treat those trees close to infected ones to slow the disease’s spread.

For more oak wilt information, visit 72tree.com/oak-wilt-identification-treatment-prevention/

Dutch Elm Disease (DED) – DED is a vascular wilt disease in trees. External symptoms of infection are yellowing and wilting of leaves on individual branches. These leaves then turn brown and curl up as the branch dies, foliage eventually may drop off.

Treatment – Much like oak wilt, Dutch Elm Disease must be treated proactively before the disease is present in the tree. This disease spreads so quickly that diseased trees may not respond to any form of treatment.

Note: Healthy elms can be professionally treated in the same manner as healthy oaks with the Propiconazole fungicide.

Canker Diseases – Symptoms may include round-to-irregular sunken, swollen, flattened, cracked, discolored, or dead areas (appearing as bruises or open wounds) on tree stems, twigs, limbs, or trunk.

Canker from tree fungi on tree trunks and branches

Treatment – There is no cure for canker diseases on fruit and shade trees, but the disease’s spread can be controlled by pruning out infected areas. In late winter or early spring, carefully remove and destroy infected branches 4 inches below the canker where the tree is releasing amber color sap. If the canker is located on the trunk, request professional help to treat the infected area or remove the tree.

When treating, pruning, or interacting with diseased trees, you can reduce the chances of spreading the disease by:

• Sanitizing all equipment, including gloves, rakes, saws, etc. before and after use
• Destroying (burning) dropped or pruned foliage, twigs, and limbs (never add infected material to compost piles)
• Never spraying infected trees with overhead watering or irrigation

When in doubt, don’t take the chance of making a bad tree situation worse. Reach out to an ISA certified arborist for professional help. Read more about tree fungi control and prevention at 72tree.com/how-to-get-rid-of-tree-fungi/

2. Weather-Related Tree Damage

Trees have spent millennia adapting to their climate and region. That said, severe weather can still inflict significant and sometimes lethal damages to a tree. For example:

Bark Stripping – During catastrophic weather events like tornadoes and hurricanes, bark can be stripped from a side of or from the entire tree, effectively killing it.

Impact Damage – Also, during severe weather events, yard ornaments, statues, bicycles, and even vehicles can be carried by wind or floodwater, impacting and severely damaging the tree’s bark. If enough bark is damaged or stripped from the tree, it will be girdled and quickly die.

Drought – When the weather is dry, trees still need water. Most tree roots live within the first 30-inches of soil, and without water for prolonged periods, a tree can suffer hydraulic failure and die. Proper mulching and increased watering patterns can prevent this peril.

Severe or Repeated Flooding – In contrast to drought, this can lead to the destabilization of a tree’s root plate. When this condition occurs, the tree may develop a lean or suffer windthrow from the slightest wind.

Windthrow – This condition occurs when trees are toppled by wind. When windthrow occurs, a tree is uprooted as it is blown over.

Severe weather can uproot and knock trees over this is known as windthrow one of many ways blowdown occurs

Windsnap – This condition also occurs when trees are toppled by wind. When windsnap occurs, a tree is broken off at the trunk as it is blown down. Proper seasonal pruning activities and crown thinning can significantly reduce the potential for windthrow or windsnap.

For further reading and preventative measures on windthrow and windsnap, read 72tree.com/blowndown-windthrow-windsnap/

3. Boring Insect Infestations

When it comes to tree killers, boring insects are perhaps the most prolific and persistent. Larvae feed in galleries beneath the bark, consuming the tree’s cambium layer, while adults consume the host’s foliage. Aerial views of forested land demonstrate (in large swaths) the devastation these insects are capable of. A boring insect infestation can be identified as follows:

• Adults found in traps (visual confirmation)
• Partially consumed foliage (Leaf notches)
• Chlorosis of foliage in sections of the crown
• Extreme dieback of foliage and stems
• Frass (sawdust) found on the bark from burrowing activities
• Exit holes in tree bark
• Bulging or vertical splits in the bark (over larval galleries)
• Suckers and water sprouts growing in the crown, on the trunk, and/or from the roots
• Woodpecker damage (woodpeckers hunt beetle larvae)
• Squirrel activity (some squirrel species feed on beetle larvae)

Agrilus planipennis emerald ash borer eab boring insect

As larvae feed season after season, they channel through their host’s cambium layer in a zigzag or ribbon pattern (interrupting the flow of water and nutrients. This feeding ultimately leads to a partial or total girdling of the host, resulting in hydraulic failure and death.

Boring Insect Control and Prevention – Due to the larvae’s occult feeding activities, preventing a wood-boring insect infestation is not always possible. However, these practices will help reduce the potential of an infestation:

• Plant well-adapted species of trees not commonly attacked by wood borers in your region.
• Choose and prepare a suitable planting site to avoid tree stress like freeze damage, sunscald, windburn, and other natural stressors.
• Promote your tree’s health with proper watering, mulching, and fertilization methods.
• Use proper seasonal pruning practices (winter/dormant season).
• Avoid mechanical injury to tree trunks from lawnmowers and/or construction.

If you detect a wood-boring insect infestation, contact an ISA certified arborist to not only confirm the infestation but to mobilize local and regional forestry support if needed. Such infestations can cause catastrophic damages in very little time.

Note: In the absence of stressed or ailing trees, boring insects will attack healthy specimens.

Read more exciting literature about boring insects by visiting 72tree.com/metallic-wood-boring-beetles/

4. Lifespan of Trees

While rare, a tree can die of “old age.” However, what is considered old age for one species may be merely infancy for another. Consider the following species and their average lifespan:

• Willow (Salix) 30 years
• Birch (Betula) 40 – 50 years
• Poplar (Populus) 50 years
• Magnolia (Magnolia) 80 – 120 years
• Maple (Acer) 100 – 300 years
• Oak (Quercus) 100 – 300 years
• Ash (Fraxinus) 120 – 300 years
• Aspen (Populus tremuloides) 150 – 200 years
• Walnut (Juglans) 150 to 250 years
• Fig (Ficus carica) 200 years
• Spruce (Picea) 200 years
• Beech (Fagus) 300 – 400 years
• Elm (Ulmus) 300 years
• Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) 300 years
• Pistachio (Pistacia vera) 300 years
• Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) 500 – 2,000 years
• Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) 600 years
• Bristlecone (Balfourianae) 5,000+ years

Signs and Symptoms – Trees in decline due to age may present many symptoms, including the following:

• Chlorosis (loss of color in foliage)
• Extreme dieback (multiple dead branches)
• Cladoptosis (randomly falling branches)
• Sudden Death (the tree just dies)

When a tree reaches or surpasses its lifespan it may die

If you have a tree that is nearing or surpassing its lifespan and is in decline, there is little to nothing you can do to save it. When in these circumstances, call on an ISA certified arborist’s expertise to evaluate the tree and recommend a course of action.

Note: While most tree species can outlive a human being, the vast majority of trees succumb to weather, biological, or human interference factors long before reaching their full lifespan.

Saving Dying Trees

In this article, you discovered information about the lifespan of trees, diseases, weather, and insects that are commonly responsible for why trees die.

By taking preventative measures to halt the spread of disease and insect infestations, you are helping your tree to live up to or surpass its lifespan.

When you ignore the warning signs of a dying or sick tree, you risk suffering grave consequences when that tree dies and falls on your property.

Sources:
extension.umn.edu/plant-diseases/oak-wilt-minnesota
mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-and-plant-advice/help-diseases/canker-diseases
ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7414.html
fs.usda.gov/naspf/sites/default/files/publications/how_to_identify_and_manage_dutch_elm_disease.pdf
plantclinic.cornell.edu/factsheets/sphaeropsisdiplodia.pdf

This article was first published on: http://www.72tree.com/why-do-trees-die/

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Metallic Wood-Boring Beetles Damaging Your Trees

Buprestidae jewel beetle with metallic golden appearance

Prevent your trees from dying when metallic wood-boring beetles infest your area. By knowing how to identify these destructive beetles, you can take action to protect and treat your trees.

72tree.com assembled the following information on metallic wood-boring beetles (jewel beetles), the damage they cause to trees, how to protect your trees, and who to call when you identify their presence.

Metallic Wood-Boring Beetles (Buprestidae) – Jewel Beetles

Jewel beetles or metallic wood-boring beetles are members of the Buprestidae family of beetles, consisting of over 15,000 known species. The larvae of this immense beetle family are known as flathead borers. These beetles possess the following traits:

Appearance – Beetles have six legs and short antennae. Nearly all adult jewel beetles will have some metallic coloration on their body. In contrast, the brightest coloration typically appears under the wing covers (elytra) or on the insect’s underside.

Size – These beetles are generally cylindrical or elongated to oval, with lengths from .12 to 3.15 in; most species are under .80in.

Feeding Habits – Adult beetles of the Buprestidae family feed on their host tree’s foliage, causing little damage to the tree.

The larvae of these beetles burrow through the bark, roots, and stems of multiple species of trees and woody plants to reach the cambium (water and nutrient delivery system of the tree).

Some of the more well-known jewel beetles include:

•Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis)
•Golden Buprestid (Buprestis aurulenta)
•Bronze Birch Borer (Agrilus anxius)
•Red-legged Buprestis (Buprestis rufipes)
•Flathead Apple Tree Borer (Chrysobothris femorata)
•Anthaxia (Anthaxia)
•Oak Splendor Beetle (Agrilus biguttatus)
•Eurythyrea austriaca (Linnaeus, 1767)

Note: Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta uncovered that jewel beetle color results from light-reflecting properties of the cells comprising their external skeletons. This research suggests that a jewel beetle’s color results from its physical structure (cell alignment) rather than pigment’s light-absorbing properties.

For important information about the emerald ash borer, read 72tree.com/emerald-ash-borer-tree-damage/

Agrilus planipennis emerald ash borer eab

Metallic Wood-boring Beetle Life Cycle

As with most beetle species, their life cycle can be separated into 3 distinct phases, including:

Adult – In spring and summer, adult beetles emerge from their host and feed on its foliage while searching for a mate. Adult jewel beetles are typically short-lived, living only for a few weeks.

Egg – Females lay eggs in crevices in the bark of the same or a nearby tree.

Larva – After hatching, larvae bore into the host until reaching the nutrient-rich cambium of the host tree, where it feeds, grows, and pupates.

Most species have one generation per year or take multiple years to develop. However, some species may produce multiple generations per year.

Metallic Wood-Boring Beetle Infestation Identification

While visual confirmation of adult beetles is best, the following symptoms indicate that a metallic wood-boring beetle infestation is occurring:

•Partially consumed foliage (Leaf notches)
•Chlorosis of foliage in sections of the crown
•Dieback of foliage and stems
•Frass (sawdust) found on the bark from burrowing activities
•D-shaped exit holes in tree bark
•Bulging or vertical splits in the bark (over larval galleries)
•Suckers and water sprouts growing in the crown, on the trunk, and/or from the roots
•Woodpecker damage (woodpeckers hunt beetle larvae)
•Squirrel activity (some squirrel species feed on beetle larvae)
•Adults found in traps

Combined, the beetle’s different stages’ feeding habits will leave a tree with damaged, wilting foliage, and in rapid decline.

As larvae continue to feed, they channel through their host’s cambium layer in a zigzag or ribbon pattern. This feeding ultimately leads to a partial or total girdling of the host, resulting in hydraulic failure and death.

Buprestidae larva consuming ash tree cambium

Affected Tree Species – Some tree species especially susceptible to wood-boring beetles in the Buprestidae family include:

•Pine (Pinus)
•Spruce (Picea)
•Fir (Abies)
•Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
•Ash (Fraxinus)
•Beech (Fagus)
•Hazelnut (Corylus)
•Apple (Malus domestica)

Generally, Buprestidae prefer attacking trees and woody plants in decline or dying. However, a number of the species will attack “green,” flourishing specimens. An example of this is the emerald ash borer (EAB), which has decimated the ash tree population in many parts of the US and continues on the move.

Note: Many wood-boring beetle species seek, attack, and infest specific tree families like the emerald ash borer that attacks those species within the ash family.

Metallic Wood-Boring Beetle (Buprestidae) Control and Prevention

Metallic wood boring beetle adult consumes tree foliage

Due to their larvae’s hidden feeding activities, preventing a metallic wood-boring beetle infestation is not always possible. However, the following practices will help reduce the risk of an infestation:

•Select well-adapted species of trees not commonly attacked by wood borers in your area.
•Choose and prepare a suitable planting site to avoid tree stress, freeze damage, sunscald, windburn, and other stressors.
•Use proper watering and fertilization methods.
•Use proper seasonal pruning practices (winter/dormant season).
•Avoid mechanical injury to tree trunks from lawnmowers construction.

Your trees’ care includes the safe removal and destruction of infested, diseased, and dying trees from your property and surrounding areas.

Most of the time, wood-boring insects are secondary invaders (successfully attacking a tree already in decline). For a tree, the first line of defense against any infestation is to keep them healthy. Proper care of trees and woody plants discourages many borer pests. Good sap flow from healthy, vigorous trees, for example, defends the plant from damage by many borer pests.

If you have confirmed a boring insect infestation on or near your property, immediately contact an ISA certified arborist to evaluate your property’s risk and recommend a course of action.

Note: If you are inclined to use chemical treatments on your trees or as a ground soak, allow a professional to apply it. To chemically stop or prevent a boring insect infestation, such products must be applied correctly and at the right time.

Jewel Beetles (Buprestidae)

In this article, you discovered essential information about metallic wood-boring beetles, their appearance and life cycle, how to identify an infestation, and how to prevent or control these deadly beetles.

By taking swift action to prevent or control a jewel beetle infestation, you are helping all of the trees on and around your property.

When you allow a wood-boring beetle infestation to go unchecked, you can be responsible for devastating infestations spreading far beyond your property.

Sources:
texasinsects.tamu.edu/woodborer-metallic-woodboring-beetle/
extension2.missouri.edu/g7422
fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5320268.pdf
nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=115304

This article was first published on: http://www.72tree.com/metallic-wood-boring-beetles/

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

How To Remove a Tree Stump Without a Grinder

Exposing tree roots to cut them and remove the stump

Avoid spending hundreds of dollars hiring a firm or renting a grinder to remove your tree stump. By knowing how to safely remove a tree stump, you can regain your landscape and save money.

72tree.com assembled the following information on methods for removing a tree stump without a grinder and crucial safety measures to observe.

Manual Tree Stump Removal

You can remove small and medium-sized stumps yourself with a few tools, some ingenuity, and muscle. When it comes to more massive stumps, you may want to get the help of a friend or relative to speed up the job and help with the heavy lifting.

Project Time: Manually removing your stump could take as little as 4 hours or up to 12, hours depending on the root ball’s number of roots and depth.

Removal Time: 4 to 12 hours

Tools, Protective Gear, and Costs:

•A sturdy and sharp shovel $15 to $35

•A mattock (similar to a pick-ax) $20 to $30

•An ax $25 to $45

•A steel 17Lb+ digging bar $30 to $40

•A bow saw $12 to $50

•Sturdy steel-toed boots $50 to $100

•Well-fitting work gloves $5 to $25

Using an ax to sever roots from a tree stump and reduce its mass

Your work gloves should snugly fit your hands. Loose gloves will move around, rub the skin, and cause blisters (defeating the purpose of wearing them).

Removing The Stump

1. Use the mattock, digging bar, and shovel to clear as much of the soil from around the stump and roots. Dig deep and wide to gain access to as many of the roots as possible. The larger the stump, the more soil you will need to remove.

2. Use the bow saw, mattock, and an ax to chop your way through the roots. When wielding an ax, take care to avoid over-chopping into the soil; this will quickly dull the blade.

3. As you cut roots away from the stump, cut them a second time to remove them from your work area.

4. Work your way around and under the root ball. Some species will grow a taproot, and this root will require some effort to sever. The more mature the tree, the more substantial the taproot will be. Dig deep and wide to gain as much access to this root as possible.

5. Once the stump is free, drag it out of the hole and fill in the void. (it will take more soil to fill in the hole than you removed from it).

Note: If you are not comfortable or knowledgeable using an ax, DO NOT use one. This tool can inflict severe harm if misused, use your mattock and/or bow saw in its place.

Tip: You can save a lot of time using a pressure washer to clear soil away from roots. Do this in sections and let the excess water soak into the ground. You can also dig a trench to guide water and soil away from your work area as you blast through the soil.

Chemical Tree Stump Removal

Just because there is no trunk or canopy, your stump may still be alive. Other trees in close proximity may be sharing water and sugars through their root systems, or your stump’s roots may have enough stored water and nutrients to attempt a comeback.

If multiple trees are connected by roots, the use of harsh chemicals on your stump may have adverse effects on the trees helping it to stay alive. Read more about killing tree stumps at 72tree.com/how-to-kill-stop-tree-stumps-growing-back/

You can remove medium and large-sized stumps chemically. While this process is much slower than manually removing the stump, it will save you from digging up your yard.

Project Time: Your stump’s height and diameter are determining factors for this project. It can be done in 1 hour and last as much as 4 hours.

Removal Time: 6 months to 1 year

Tools, Protective Gear, and Costs:

•A chainsaw (if you need to lower the height of the stump) $60 to $250

•A bow saw $12 to $50

•A drill and large boring bit (use the largest bit you can find) $70 to $200

•Plastic tarp $4 to $18

•Potassium-nitrate stump remover granules or high-nitrogen fertilizer $15 to $25

•Organic mulch $15 to $25 (free if you compost)

•Sturdy steel-toed boots (if using a chainsaw) $50 to $100

•Well-fitting work gloves $5 to $25

Using a chainsaw to reduce the height of a tree stump before removal

A note about the removal time: This process relies on the breaking down of organic matter and relies on warmth and moisture. In cooler climates, removal time may exceed 1 year while in warmer climates, this time may be less than 6 months.

Removing The Stump

1. Use your chainsaw or bow saw to lower the height of the stump. The lower to the ground, the more efficient this process will be.

2. Dill several deep holes in the stump. Use the widest bit available to you and drill the holes close together.

3. Fill each hole with water and your remover granules or fertilizer (don’t be shy, pour it in).

4. Use a soaker hose to saturate the soil surrounding the stump and apply a 3 to 6-inch layer of organic mulch over and around the stump.

5. Cover the stump and mulched area with a tarp to further retain the moisture.

6. Secure the tarp by staking it, covering it with a thick layer of organic mulch, and placing heavy objects (rocks and/or potted plants) on it.

7. Every 2 to 3 weeks, remove the tarp, repeat steps 3 and 4, and replace the tarp.

Under optimal conditions, the stump may soften within 3 to 4 months. It can then be broken up with an ax, retreated, and completely buried to further decay underground.

Note: Protect yourself with gloves, protective glasses, and clothing when using or dispersing chemicals. Wash your hands and any exposed body parts thoroughly after completing this job.

Tip: When having a tree removed, request that the tree be cut as close to the ground as possible. By doing this, you will save a lot of time when chemically removing your stump.

Caution: While other, more caustic agents like muriatic acid can be used to chemically remove a stump, they bring severe health hazards with them. Many acids do not require physical contact to cause harm, inhaling their vapors can cause significant respiratory damage. Avoid using such chemicals to preserve the health of your loved ones and surrounding wildlife.

Tree Stump Removal by Fire

You can remove medium and large-sized stumps by burning them. Before embarking on this method, verify that there are no municipal restrictions or forbiddance by HOA rules on burning out tree stumps.

Project Time: Depending on the freshness of your stump, this project can be done in 1 hour and last as much as 2 hours.

Removal Time: 1 day

Tools, Protective Gear, and Costs:

•A drill and large boring bit (use the largest bit you can find) $70 to $200

•A sturdy and sharp shovel $15 to $35

•Kerosine $2.70 to $3.30 per gallon (pricing varies with fuel market values)

The more time your tree stump has had to dry out, the more effective this method will be. However, stump removal by fire can be used at any time.

1. Start by digging a trench around your stump 4 to 6-inches deep and 10 to 12-inches wide. This will remove grass and debris that might ignite.

2. Drill several holes as wide and as deep as you can into the stump, the more, the better. Using a hammer and chisel, bore out a deep hole 3 to 4-inches wide in the center of the stump.

3. Pour kerosine into all of the holes and let the stump soak it up. Repeat this step several (3 to 4) times before lighting the stump on fire.

4. When you are ready to light the stump, apply kerosine once more. The larger, center hole should be wet with kerosene and filled with charcoal to intensify the heat. Ignite the stump from a safe distance.

5. Let the stump burn completely before disturbing it.

6. Anything left after this method should be easily broken apart and buried where the stump once was.

Tree stump removal by fire completely burning it

Tip: Keep a fire extinguisher and water hose close by when burning a stump. If winds pick up, embers may be blown to surrounding structures, use the hose to extinguish the embers.

Caution: Kerosine floats on water. If you must extinguish the fire, use a fire extinguisher on the stump. The use of water may carry lit kerosine spraying in all directions.

Tree Stump Removal

Along with the options presented in this article, come specific hazards that should be addressed when attempting to remove a tree stump. If, at any juncture, you feel that you cannot safely remove your tree stump, stop what you are doing, and call a professional tree service to remove the stump for you.

How To Remove a Tree Stump

In this article, you discovered multiple methods for removing a tree stump without using a stump grinder and crucial tips to speed up the job and keep you safe.

By following some simple instructions and properly using your tools, you can remove your tree stump without the cost or mess of using a stump grinder.

Improperly trying to remove a tree stump may result in catastrophic physical injuries leading to costly medical bills and health consequences.

Sources:
extension.sdstate.edu/how-remove-stump
extension.illinois.edu/blogs/rhonda-ferrees-ilriverhort/2014-06-20-removing-tree-stumps
warnell.uga.edu/sites/default/files/publications/Stump%20Removal%20pub_14-8.pdf

This article was first published on: http://www.72tree.com/how-to-remove-a-tree-stump-without-a-grinder/

Monday, July 20, 2020

Symptoms of Anthracnose

Dark brown irregular blotches on foliage indicates an anthracnose infection

Prevent anthracnose from harming your trees, shrubs, and turf, causing their decline and eventual death. By knowing how to identify this pesky fungal disease, you can take steps to control and prevent it.

72tree.com gathered information to help you identify the symptoms of anthracnose, what it infects, how to treat it, and how to prevent the disease.

What Is Anthracnose

Anthracnose is the name given to a group of fungal pathogens that attack a wide variety of herbaceous and woody plants in spring with cool and wet weather. Fungi overwinter (lie dormant) in dead twigs and fallen leaves. Cool, rainy weather provides perfect conditions for emerging spores to spread.

Anthracnose Symptoms

Anthracnose symptoms can appear differently depending on what part of a plant or tree it has infected. The following will help you positively identify an anthracnose infection:

Twig, Branch, and Stem/Trunk Symptoms – Anthracnose infections on twigs most commonly appear as small orange-brown blisters or as a brown band encircling and girdling the young twig resulting in shoot death.

In more advanced cases, anthracnose can cause open wounds on branches, stems, and trunks. These open wounds typically appear sunken, dark, and wet.

Anthracnose causes discoloration and death of twigs and branches

Leaf Symptoms – Tan to dark brown irregular shaped blotches develop on young leaves, and they are typically distorted, cupped, or curled. When there is a severe anthracnose infection, premature leaf drop can occur in spring. When this happens, trees will usually produce a second growth of foliage by midsummer.

An anthracnose infection may cause identical spots on mature leaves. Still, these leaves generally do not portray the cupped or distorted appearance. These spots on mature leaves are frequently accompanied by minor wounds from insect feeding.

For trees, these symptoms are typically most severe on lower and inner branches but can travel up through the entire canopy.

Fruit Symptoms – Anthracnose fruit rot is identified as brown to black, water-soaked, sunken spots on green and ripe fruit. These lesions can develop over time, depending on weather conditions during disease development.


Grass/Turf Symptoms
– Anthracnose diseases are common and destructive problems in landscapes and golf course greens with creeping bentgrass or annual bluegrass.

Anthracnose may develop in grasses as a foliar blight, in which grass leaves are infected, or a basal rot, attacking leaf sheaths, crowns, and stolons.

Anthracnose symptoms in grass and turf can be highly variable. Consider the following:

•Yellow to orange spots in irregular patterns
•Small freckle-like spots
•Circular patches reaching a foot in diameter

Symptoms are typically most severe in areas that are stressed from low mowing, excessive traffic, or inadequate irrigation or fertilization.

These symptoms first appear on the oldest growth, which dies back from the tip. The disease then gradually progresses to the younger leaves.

As the disease progresses from the foliage to basal rot, the leaf sheaths, crowns, and stolons will be darkened and rotten.

Tip: Use a magnifying glass to identify acervuli. These black, saucer-shaped pads with protruding black spines (setae) are the disease’s reproductive structures filled with spores.

Anthracnose Disease Cycle

An anthracnose disease cycle starts when a host is infected in spring or early summer from spores in fallen leaves, infected twigs/limbs, and lesions called cankers. Leaf infections commonly progress to stem and bud infections where the pathogen continues to grow and cause dieback.

Dieback is frequently the result of cankers growing over multiple years and, unless treated, will result in hydraulic failure to foliage, the decline in health, and vulnerability to deadly pathogens and/or infestations.

Dieback and defoliation caused by anthracnose

Generally, anthracnose infections are not lethal to plants and trees. But, if the pathogen is left to flourish for multiple growing seasons, it will weaken its host, allowing other diseases or insects to successfully attack and kill it.

Anthracnose Treatment

Due to the ease in which anthracnose spreads and infects plant life, once identified, fast action is required to prevent a wide-spread, severe outbreak. The following will help you reduce transmission of the pathogen:

•Apply a broad-spectrum, non-toxic bio-fungicide safe for organic use directly on and around infected areas
•Halt all overhead watering practices and install drip lines where possible
•Carefully prune and destroy all infected foliage, stems, and branches
•Collect and destroy fallen leaves, twigs, and debris from beneath infected trees, shrubs, and plants throughout the growing season and summer months
•Sanitize all pruning and gardening equipment after each use with a one part bleach to 4 parts water solution
•Call a professional tree service to treat cankers on tree trunks (tree removal may be required in more severe stages of infection)
•Do not walk through or work on your garden, lawn, or shrubs when they are wet
•Avoid composting infected foliage, fruit, cuttings, or stems
•Thoroughly clear debris from gardens and from under shrubs and trees in the fall to reduce overwintering opportunities for fungal spores

Read more about treating and eliminating fungi at 72tree.com/how-to-get-rid-of-tree-fungi/

Anthracnose Prevention

While it can be challenging to prevent, the following measures will help you protect your garden, bushes, and trees from anthracnose:

•Use western grown seeds which have not been exposed to anthracnose
•Plant disease-resistant species when possible
•Water, fertilize, prune, and mulch your plants and trees to promote their health
•Apply liquid copper sprays weekly throughout the growing season
•Apply sulfur powders weekly throughout the growing season
•Apply neem oil at the first sign of budding, then weekly throughout the growing season

Note: Neem oil is an organic, multi-purpose fungicide, insecticide, and miticide eliminating all stages of insects while preventing fungal attacks.

Anthracnose prevention with all natural neem oil

Anthracnose Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

In this article, you discovered what anthracnose is, how to identify it, and measures to treat and prevent it from harming your landscape.

By taking swift action to halt the progression and prevent anthracnose infections, you are preserving the health of your grass, plants, shrubs, and trees.

Allowing anthracnose to spread without treatment will leave the plant life on your landscape in poor health and susceptible to more deadly pathogens and infestations.

Sources:
extension.umn.edu/plant-diseases/anthracnose-trees-and-shrubs
content.ces.ncsu.edu/anthracnose-in-turf
ipm.illinois.edu/diseases/series600/rpd621/index.html
missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/help-for-the-home-gardener/advice-tips-resources/pests-and-problems/diseases/anthracnose.aspx

This article was first published on: http://www.72tree.com/symptoms-of-anthracnose/

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Tree Blowndown Windthrow and Windsnap

Severe weather can uproot trees this is known as windthrow one of many ways blowdown occurs

Don’t let your tree die from being toppled in a storm. Knowing how windthrow and windsnap can topple trees will help you increase their natural defenses against it.

72tree.com gathered information on what windthrow and windsnap are, what causes them, and how they can be prevented.

What is Windthrow?

Windthrow occurs when trees are toppled by wind. When windthrow occurs, trees are uprooted as they are blown over.

What is Windsnap?

Windsnap also occurs when trees are toppled by wind. When windsnap occurs, trees are broken off at the trunk as they are blown down.

Tree blowdown violent wind caused windsnap and broke the tree from its trunk

Windthrow and Windsnap Causes

While wind is a contributing factor to windthrow and windsnap, it is not the primary cause (under normal circumstances). Consider the following:

What Causes Windthrow – Windthrow can topple the seemingly sturdiest of trees in the lightest of breezes or most furious of winds. Consider the following conditions that can lead to windthrow:

•Earthquakes can loosen tree roots from their soil, leaving the tree destabilized
• Floods can over-saturate the soil surrounding a tree, leaving roots with nothing to grip
• Excessive rains can also over-saturate the soil around a tree
• Snow accumulation can add enough weight to the tree to overpower its roots
• Construction activities can cause soil compaction, leading to root death
• Deep trenching too close to a tree can sever its roots
• Erosion can strip soil and sediments away from the root plate, leaving roots exposed
• Root rot caused by disease, leaving roots soft and without anchoring power
• Improper watering can cause roots to grow too close to the surface, offering little to no support

Either by nature or neglect, when roots are destabilized, any amount of wind can catch the tree’s canopy, disrupt its balance, and topple it without notice.

Note: A tree’s root plate expands outward from the trunk and continues to its dripline. While roots can grow beyond the dripline, those within it should be nurtured and protected throughout the tree’s life.

What Causes Windsnap – Windsnap brings down trees when the trunk/stem snaps, completely separating the crown and a portion of the trunk from the root system left in the ground. The following conditions can lead to windsnap:

• Sudden severe wind “microbursts”
• Poor trunk and limb development from bad pruning practices
• Diseases that cause hydraulic failure like blight
• Heart rot caused by fungi that feed on the inner wood of the trunk

Another term used to represent both windthrow and windsnap is “blowdown.” This term is usually applied when both windthrow and windsnap occur in the same place. Events that can lead to blowdown include:

•Hurricanes
• Tornadoes
• Typhoons
• Tropical storms
• Hail storms
• Bomb detonations
• Factory explosions
• Volcanic eruptions (pyroclastic flows)
• Meteor impacts or atmospheric explosions

For trees that somehow manage to remain standing after such events, they will likely have been stripped of their leaves and bark, sentencing them to certain death.

Trees can suffer windsnap or windthrow during violent weather systems

Note: In 1980, the eruption of Mt. St. Helens destroyed more than 4 billion board feet of timber by windthrow and windsnap.

In 1945, an atomic bomb was detonated 2,000 feet over the city of Hiroshima, destroying five square miles of the city and flattening nearly all vegetation. Incredibly, 170 trees survived the explosion within one and a quarter-mile of ground zero, and are alive today.

And in 1908, the Tunguska explosion (believed to have been a meteorite) caused a blowdown of trees within 2,000 square kilometers of forest.

Windthrow and Windsnap Prevention

We can’t stop the weather. Even with all of the technology and advanced warning systems available, we still cannot reasonably predict how severe weather events will affect our trees. The following will help you fortify your trees to keep them from suffering windthrow and windsnap:

Planting – You can best protect your tree by planting it in a location observing the following:

• Plant your tree in a location protected from prevailing winds or known storm paths
• The location should be well-drained and not prone to flooding
• The sun/shade ratio should accommodate the tree species

Be mindful of the structures (fences, sheds, buildings, hills, etc.) and vegetation that surround the tree and can serve as a windbreak.

Read 72tree.com/beginners-guide-tree-planting/ for more tree planting tips.

Watering – Watering your tree is fundamental in encouraging roots to grow deep, offering improved stability and resistance to windthrow:

•Water newly planted trees three to four times per week
• During periods of drought, increase the frequency and duration of waterings
• Do not use overhead watering, it spreads disease, instead, use a drip or soak method

Water benefits every aspect of your tree’s health and long life. Without it, hydraulic failure can cause its fast and untimely death.

Fertilizing – When planting and each year after that, the soil (principally within the dripline) should be tested to gauge the amount of nutrients and pH level. Liquid, granular, and organic fertilizers can be used to adjust your soil as needed.

Mulching – Mulching the root plate will help the soil retain moisture and regulate soil temperature throughout the year.

Pruning – Proper seasonal pruning will encourage healthy growth and strength of your tree’s structure. Crown thinning will also help prevent blowdown by offering less resistance to wind.

Windthrow and windsnap prevention also depends on keeping your trees disease and pest free. By encouraging their growth and providing responsible seasonal care, trees are capable of fending off most threats. However, when there is a disease or pest outbreak in your region, call an ISA certified arborist to evaluate your tree and recommend preventative measures.

Read more about tree pests and diseases at 72tree.com/5-tree-pests-diseases-avoid-spring/

Windthrow, Windsnap, and Blowdown

In this article, you discovered the difference between windthrow and windsnap, what events can cause them, and steps you can take to prevent them.

By encouraging your trees to grow healthy and well-rooted, you can give them a better chance of surviving severe weather events.

Allowing your trees to grow without proper care and attention can create an opportunity for it to be blown over or snapped, causing catastrophic damages and financial loss when landing on your home or car.

Sources:

canr.msu.edu/news/why_trees_fail
fs.fed.us/r3/resources/health/field-guide/nid/windthrow.shtml
extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/fnr/fnr-faq-12-w.pdf
extension.msstate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/publications/p2683.pdf
space.com/5573-huge-tunguska-explosion-remains-mysterious-100-years.html
pubs.usgs.gov/gip/msh/impact.html

This article was first published on: http://www.72tree.com/blowndown-windthrow-windsnap/