COVID-19 UPDATE: Arborwell is Open and Performing Essential Tree Care Services at this time

Arborwell is Open for Essential Tree Services

COVID-19 UPDATE: Arborwell is Open and Performing Essential Tree Care Services at this time

Arborwell is Open for Essential Tree Services

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Arbor-wellness: Spruce Spider Mite

Spruce trees are one of the most popular trees in the Pacific Northwest. Seeing conifer trees with shades of green, gray and blue-green in the winter is refreshing and brightens the otherwise dull winter.  Spruce trees are common to this area and very hardy trees. The blue spruce – native to Colorado – is a favorite on public and private landscapes.

We do see a particular problem on these trees that can cause the tree to decline fairly rapidly. The spruce spider mite is a very fast reproducing insect that will quickly harm spruce trees and most other conifers if not treated. They feed on the needles and create a stippling effect, eventually turning the leave brown as they die off. We are seeing more of this pest the last few seasons, so it is important to pay closer attention to spruces, arborvitae and firs in particular.

Treatments done early can prevent damage most of the season, but if damage is noticed in the fall, it is important to treat quickly as that is when they do the most damage.

The needles on my spruce tree are turning bronze colored and falling, what is wrong?

This is most likely being caused by spruce spider mite, a fast reproducing insect that feeds on the needles of spruce trees and other conifers. They feed by “rasping” the needle with specialized mouth parts and the needle starts to turn yellowish, the bronzy as it dies. When they turn bronze like that, it is a sign that you have a fairly bad infestation. With spruce spider mite, you might also notice some light webbing too.

Can my spruce be saved?

At this point, it is imperative to treat quickly to with a fast-acting treatment to get the problem under control. But yes, in most cases we can save the tree.

What other trees do they affect?

They will feed on most conifer trees, but mostly on spruce trees, fir trees, and arborvitae. They are most active in the cool season, so damage is done in the spring and again the fall. (Often the summer is when you notice the damage though because the weakened tree has a harder time with the stress of summer heat.

 When do I treat them?

When you see damage in the summer or fall, it is important to treat them right away with a fast-acting product. You should also avoid spraying products on the tree during this time, because you will harm the predatory insects that feed on spider mites. Those are the good guys we want to keep. In the fall or early spring, we can do a proactive treatment that prevents the population from building up too high. This allows the tree to recover more quickly. Without any treatments, populations can build so high they may eventually kill the tree.

What else should I know?

Spruce spider mites are a cool season spider mite, but there are warm season mites that feed on other tree types and do most of their damage in the summer. Your Arborwell arborist knows what to look for and can help spot problems before they get too bad. Remember too that keeping trees healthy helps prevent trees from becoming stressed, which allows insects to attack trees more easily. Proper feeding and proper watering will go a long way to reducing spider mite problems.

If you are concerned about spider mites on your Spruce (or other) trees, fill out the form below to contact your Arborwell arborist to help you solve this problem for you.

insect, plant health care, spider mite, Spruce

Arbor-wellness: Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Hemlock trees are very susceptible to a small white woolly looking insect called the Hemlock woolly Adelgid. They can build populations up quickly and when they are very active in a region, cause widespread death of hemlock trees when not treated. On Fir trees, there is a related insect called the Balsam Woolly Adelgid that is found largely on the trunk stems and small twigs, where they feed voraciously, weakening the tree quickly.

Treatments are somewhat problematic because of how waxy and woolly their outer “layer” is. We often use alternate treatments besides spraying for them, which gets better results and we don’t harm the good guys as much. Click here to see how Arborwell can help to protect your Hemlocks and Fir trees from either of these problems.

Adelgids are making a comeback

One insect that is not talked about much but can become very problematic is a tiny, fuzzy white insect called Adelgid. They feed almost exclusively on conifers, but each type is fairly limited in the number of different tree types it feeds on. They feed on the sap and weaken the trees. When populations are high enough, they will eventually kill the tree, especially on hemlocks.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

These feed on the needles and small twigs of hemlock tree, forming masses of white cottony spots on hemlocks. They are most prevalent on Eastern hemlock trees and are less of a problem on the Western varieties of this tree.  

Pine Bark Adelgid

Most common on thin barked pine trees, they tend to cover the bark close to where branches extend from the trunk, but can fill the entire trunk when the population builds up, creating an almost snow-like affect on the trunk. These adelgids weaken the tree when present in large numbers, but are often not fatal, and they tend to favor stressed tress, so maintaining healthy pine trees goes a long way to keeping this insect in check.

Cooley Spruce Gall Adelgid

They are found on Colorado blue spruce, Douglas fir, and Englemann and Sitka spruce. They feed at the tips of small twigs and form a unique looking gall. Once they mature and leave, the gall turns brown and dies, leaving tips of the tree looking unsightly. Rarely do they need treatment, but can be warranted when the population is high.

Balsam Woolly Adelgid

This tiny sucking insect was introduced to North America from Europe. It is a serious pest of true firs in forests and landscape, and in Christmas tree production. Balsam woolly adelgid feeds on the stems of true firs. White or grayish cotton like masses of eggs or newly hatched purplish-black insects can be found on the twigs, branches, or trunk. Heavy adelgid infestations may cover the entire trunk. The feeding insects cause the tree to form swollen, knob like areas at nodes and tips of infested branches. Adelgid infestations weaken trees, cause foliage to become sparse, and can kill trees. This is a serious pest in the forest and common on most firs in landscaped areas, Balsam fir and subalpine fir are particularly susceptible. There are two to four generations per year. We can help you determine if adelgids are a problem on your hemlocks, pines, firs or other conifers.

Fill out the form below to Contact your Arborwell arborist and schedule an inspection.

hemlock, insects, plant health care, woolly adelgid

Arbor-wellness: Pine Bark Adelgid

Pine trees are common in many of our landscapes. They are decently drought tolerant and bring a little bit of the forest look into our Southern California beach climate. One of the most common pests we find on some of them is a little white cottony pest called Pine Bark Adelgid. This creature is usually found on the bark of several of the pine species we find here. In small numbers they don’t do much damage, but when their population gets high enough, they can weaken a pine tree significantly. Weakened pines are then subject to other insects and diseases that are lethal to them.

When we see a population growing on one or more trees, we usually recommend treating them for a few seasons to reduce the population. If the trees are not healthy, we will also make a recommendation to improve their health. If the tree is otherwise healthy, we won’t have to treat for at least several years. We often use alternate treatments besides spraying for them, which gets better results and we don’t harm the good guys as much.

Adelgids are making a comeback.

One insect that is not talked about much but can become very problematic is a tiny, fuzzy white insect called Adelgid. They feed almost exclusively on conifers, but each type is fairly limited in the number of different tree types it feeds on. They feed on the sap and weaken the trees. When populations are high enough, they will eventually kill the tree, especially hemlocks.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

These feed on the needles and small twigs of hemlock tree, forming masses of white cottony spots on hemlocks. They are most prevalent on Eastern hemlock trees and are less of a problem on the Western varieties of this tree.  

Pine Bark Adelgid

Most common on thin barked pine trees. They tend to cover the bark close to where branches extend from the trunk, but can fill the entire trunk when the population builds up, creating an almost snow-like affect on the trunk. These adelgids weaken the tree when present in large numbers, but are often not fatal. They tend to favor stressed tress, so maintaining healthy pine trees goes a long way to keeping this insect in check.

Cooley Spruce Gall Adelgid

They are found on Colorado blue spruce, Douglas fir, and Englemann and Sitka spruce. They feed at the tips of small twigs and form a unique looking gall. Once they mature and leave, the gall turns brown and dies, leaving tips of the tree looking unsightly. Rarely do they need treatment, but can be warranted when the population is high.

Balsam Woolly Adelgid

This tiny sucking insect was introduced to North America from Europe. It is a serious pest of true firs in forests and landscape, and in Christmas tree production. Balsam woolly adelgid feeds on the stems of true firs. White or grayish masses of eggs or newly hatched purplish-black insects can be found on the twigs, branches, or trunk. Heavy adelgid infestations may cover the entire trunk. The feeding insects cause the tree to form swollen, knob like areas at nodes and tips of infested branches. Adelgid infestations weaken trees, cause foliage to become sparse, and can kill trees. This is a serious pest in the forest and common on most firs in landscaped areas. Balsam fir and subalpine fir are particularly susceptible. There are two to four generations per year.

We can help you determine if adelgids are a problem on your hemlocks, pines, firs or other conifers.

Fill out the form below to contact your Arborwell arborist to schedule an inspection.

Adelgid, Bark, insect, Pine, Pine Bark Adelgid

Arbor-wellness: Fusarium Wilt

Fusarium wilt is a common wilt fungal disease that spreads mostly through the soil.  The fungi enter through the roots and interfere with the water uptake of the palm.  It is considered mostly fatal to them and doesn’t show symptoms right away so infected trees can often spread the disease.

Typically considered fatal, there is some promising research that shows some potential treatments that greatly prolong the life of the palm. Proactive treatment is recommended on otherwise non diseased palms.

My lower leaves are dying very quickly on some of my big feather palm trees. What could be wrong?

If these are Canary Island date palms, it is most likely fusarium wilt. This is a destructive fungal disease that is becoming more widespread. You should notice on newly infected fronds that one half of the frond dies first. As the disease progresses, the younger leaves will also be affected and the plant will eventually die.

Can I save these palms?

If the disease has spread throughout much of the palm canopy, then it should be removed and disposed of properly. Proper disposal is important to minimize the risk of spreading.

What about my other Canary Island date palms that appear ok now?

They should be treated on a regular basis to prevent establishment of the disease in them. Since it spreads by water and air, nearby Canary Island date palms will be infected eventually. This disease can survive for years in the soil, and is spread by water, insects, and garden equipment.  The fungus develops during hot weather; dry weather and low soil moisture encourage this plant disease. 

Will it spread to other types of palms?

No just the Canary Island date palm is susceptible, typically.

Fill out the form below if you would like to get in contact with an Arborwell arborist!

california, fusarium wilt, palm tree, plant health care

Arbor-wellness: Diamond Scale

Diamond scale is a fungal disease found exclusively on certain palm trees. The name causes a bit of confusion, as the term “scale” usually refers to scale insects. Diamond Scale is an actual fungal disease that is normally a relatively mild disease that rarely causes the death of the palm. However, it does make infected palms look unsightly and predisposes them to other diseases which may be lethal. It derives its name from its characteristic diamond-shaped fruiting bodies.

Diamond scale attacks primarily the California fan palm in coastal areas and in inland areas subject to coastal influence. The drier climate areas of California rarely see it. It does warrant treatment when found in coastal areas, because it us usually indicative of a palm in poor health. Besides treating for the disease, keeping palms healthy and vigorous helps keep the disease in check.

I have black odd shaped spots on my fan palm, what is that?

That is a disease called Black Diamond Scale”. It is common on California fan palms in areas with coastal influence.

Will it kill my palm?

It won’t kill your palm outright, but it weakens the palm and makes is susceptible to other diseases that may be fatal. If your palm is not growing fast enough, it will build up in large numbers on old fronds, making it quite unsightly.

Will it spread to my other palms?

It seems to only affect California fan palms and palms that are crosses between Mexican fan palm and California fan palms. The pure Mexican fan palm and most other species aren’t affected by it.

What should I do about it?

There are several steps that are important to take:

First consider pruning the older fronds out annually. This lessens the problem, but be sure to dispose of the fronds off site and don’t prune healthy palms with the same equipment unless you sterilize the equipment first.

Second, make sure the palm is growing adequately. Palm are heavy feeders and should be fertilized with specialty fertilizer twice a year in most cases. Also make sure there is adequate drainage and that it is properly watered.

Lastly, treatment should be considered on a regular basis until the palm recovers and is healthy. Your Arborwell Arborist can recommend a program to help your palms stay healthy and disease free.

Fill out the form below to get in contact with our team!

diamond scale, fungi, insect, palm

pruning

Types of Tree Landscaping Services

Arborwell Offers Many Types of Tree Landscaping Services

The trees on commercial and estate properties require regular maintenance to remain healthy and safe. To meet the varied needs of each tree on your grounds, Arborwell offers many types of tree landscaping services. Our ISA certified arborists can evaluate your trees, helping you identify areas of opportunity for improving tree wellness.

Safeguard Your Trees with Thoughtfully Planned Preventive Maintenance Services

  • Crown Cleaning
    Our plant health care experts can help you restore the vigor of your trees, removing weakly attached branches on tree crowns, dying or diseased limbs and dead boughs.
  • Crown Thinning
    Properly thinning a tree is an art form. Let our skilled crew help you improve light penetration, air movement, and reduce weight strain on heavy limbs, beautifully shaping your trees.
  • Crown Raising
    Our tree management services can help you increase safety and visibility, raising the crown of your tree to improve clearance for pedestrians, vehicles, and nearby structures with the removal of low hanging branches.
  • Crown Reduction
    Maintain the form and structural integrity of larger trees, controlling their size with careful crown reduction. Our tree healthcare professionals prefer this method over harmful topping. By pruning leaders and branch terminals, we can safely reduce canopy size.
  • Crown Restoration
    Restore balance to trees that have suffered storm damage or unsightly, harmful topping procedures. Let our skilled arborists masterfully prune your tree, encouraging structurally sound growth as your tree reestablishes its proper shape.
  • Enhancement and Utility Pruning
    Selectively remove branches to alter the footprint of your trees, improving views or ensuring safe clearance surrounding nearby utility lines.

Proper Pruning is Essential to the Health and Growth of Your Trees

Don’t let your tree maintenance needs go overlooked. Safeguard the value of your property, ensuring your trees get the regular attention they need from our ISA certified arborists. Our annual maintenance plans make it easy to maintain and beautify your Seattle, San Diego, Sacramento, or Bay Area property, including detailed plans for thoughtfully timed tree maintenance.

What types of tree landscaping services can Arborwell provide to help improve your commercial property and the health of your trees? Call us at 888-969-8733 to discuss your property with an ISA certified arborist, or fill out our online tree assessment form today.

crown raising, crown reduction, tree landscaping, tree pruning

tree maintenance

Plant Nutrient Management in Seattle

Improve Your Seattle Property’s Soil with Plant Nutrient Management

Your plants depend on the nutrients in the soil for long-term health just as you depend on the nutrients in the foods you eat. Macro and micronutrients fuel the growth and beauty of your landscaping. However, providing your plants with a balanced diet takes care. Just as with your own diet, there can be too little – or too much – of a good thing.

A Skilled Arborist is Like a Dietician for Your Trees

With proper plant nutrient management, you can protect your trees, meeting all their nutritional needs. Providing expert soil analysis and studying the condition of the trees on your Seattle commercial property, our skilled arborists can identify nutrient deficiencies in your soil that may threaten the health of your plants, putting them at increased risk of pest and fungal diseases. We can then administer the exact amount of missing nutrients, supporting the health of your trees while preventing unnecessary damage due to the application of excess fertilizers and soil amendments.

Feed Your Soil – And Your Trees

With the right soil amendments, you can safeguard the health of your landscaping, improving resistance to pests and disease and laying the foundation for a long, healthy, beautiful life. Our knowledgeable team can help you feed your soil, creating the ideal environment for your plants and trees by:

  • Adding composted material to existing landscaping annually.
  • Utilizing compost prior to new plantings.
  • Strategically mulching to reduce the need for watering, control weeds, and feed your soil.

Avoid the Dangers of Overfeeding

The ISA certified Arborwell staff understand the importance of balance, testing your soil before composting and fertilizing to avoid the application and cost of unnecessary amendments. We know the value of naturally obtained nutrients, choosing compost, mulch, and other superior organic supplements over chemical options. Our mindful practices safeguard not only your plants, but the planet, protecting nearby soil and area waterways from the overuse of damaging chemical fertilizers.

Promote the vibrant growth of your Seattle HOA, retail, apartment, office or estate property’s landscape with plant nutrient management. Contact Arborwell Professional Tree Management at 888-969-8733 and request an arborist consultation today.

plant nutrients, soil management, tree health

leaves browning due to vert wilt

Arbor-wellness: Verticillium Wilt

We are seeing more trees this summer that look green and healthy one week and within a few weeks entire branches turn brown and leaves dry up, the most common cause of this problem is verticillium wilt. Verticillium is a soil borne root disease that usually infects through the root as they contact verticillium spores in the soil.

Many trees are susceptible to verticillium including, arborvitae, birch, crabapple, ginkgo, maple, oak, pine, spruce and tuliptree. What makes this disease so difficult is that by the time we typically see damage, the disease has spread too far and tree removal is usually the only option. Once a soil is infected it is very difficult to kill the spores, so it usually remains in the soil indefinitely. However, there are some ways to protect your trees and reduce the chance of infection.

My tree was looked good last week and now this week it has several branches with dead leaves, what’s wrong?

This is most likely verticillium wilt, which is caused by a soil fungus that can lie dormant in the soil for many years. When the roots of susceptible plants grow close to the spores, the fungus germinates and infects the roots of the plants through wounds or natural openings. The fungus spreads into the branches through the plant’s vascular system and at the same time, causes the plant cells to “plug” themselves. Once this happens, water can no longer reach the leaves and they wilt and die, often all along one or branches at a time. It often happens quite suddenly, although in some plants the leaves turn yellow or brown first.

Why is this so prevalent now?

That is a hard question to answer but yes, we are seeing more of this disease this summer and fall. Essentially, our trees are still recovering from the drought of several years back. Their root systems were compromised. The moisture this spring really encouraged new rooting and also encouraged more root diseases overall.

How can I be sure my tree has this disease?

On certain trees – maples and tuliptrees in particular, elongated dead areas of bark, called cankers, may appear on diseased branches or trunks. On most trees with the disease, the sapwood of smaller branches is streaked brown or black, occasionally in other colors too. However, since not every tree exhibits this discoloration, testing a tissue lab may be recommended to confirm the diagnosis.  

Will my tree survive?

Unfortunately, usually not.  There seem to be two forms of the disease, one in which plants die slowly over several years and another where they die rapidly within a few weeks. Trees that show minor branch wilt one year may show more the next year or may not show symptoms again for several years.

Is there anything I can do for the other trees on my property? 

There are ways to help protect your trees, particularly if they don’t show signs of the disease. First make sure the tree is not stressed – proper water and proper feeding are important here. Secondly, there are some good guy fungal species that do battle against this root disease and several others, too. The good guys inoculate onto the roots of a tree and fight and kill these fungal pathogens. (I like to use the analogy of probiotics that help our digestive system stay healthy.) But this process should start before verticillium wilt becomes established in the tree.

Our arborists at Arborwell can recommend a protective program for the trees that are susceptible on your site. Fill out the form below to get in contact with an arborist today!

preventative tree care, Prevention, root disease, tree care, verticillium wilt

Closeup of Psyllids

Arbor-wellness: Psyllids

When large trees lose their leaves in mid-summer, we tend to panic, and often for good reason. We tend to think of water problems or diseases as the main cause, but sometimes it may be a small insect that is hard to spot. Psyllids are small insects that suck plant juices and excrete sticky honeydew on which blackish sooty mold grows. Some species secrete pale or white wax masses, pellets, strands, or coverings called lerps. They affect many species of trees in our region, but the most common are Eucalyptus, peppertree, citrus, acacia, laurel and tipu or rosewood.

My eucalyptus trees are losing lots of leaves, what could be wrong?

There are several reasons why eucalyptus leaves drop their leaves in large amounts. If you see small, whitish “caps” on the leaves, this is a type of “psyllid” called “redgum lerp psyllid”. This is one many psyllid types that are common in our region.

What other damage can psyllids cause?

High psyllid populations reduce plant growth and cause tip damage, discoloration or dieback. Certain species can cause premature leaf drop. Excessive honeydew creates a sticky mess on cars and surfaces below trees.

Do psyllids damage other trees in my landscape?

There are over 160 psyllid species that occurs on landscape plants in California. Each kind of psyllid feeds only on one plant species or one closely related group of plants. Most psyllids native to California are relatively uncommon and rarely become pests. But some can cause extensive damage. These are generally psyllids that have become pests on trees that are originally from other countries. The most important tree damaging psyllids occur on acacia, eucalyptus, olive, peppertree, laurel and citrus.

I’ve heard about citrus trees dying or being taken out, is this the problem with them?

Well, sort of. A relatively new psyllid pest (Asian citrus psyllid) has been introduced into parts of California. The insect itself doesn’t kill citrus trees, but it can introduce a disease called “Citrus Greening” that is essentially fatal to them. If allowed to become widespread, it is feared the California citrus industry will be wiped out. Currently, the agencies involved are heavily involved in scouting, insect control and plant removal efforts in regions that are most affected. Being vigilant about scouting and controlling this pest when found is very critical.

What can I do?

Your Arborwell arborist can identify locations where Asian citrus psyllid, Redgum lerp psyllid (or other types) are doing the most damage and recommend a treatment program to recover your trees and to keep them healthy. They can also recommend a proper plan for citrus trees on your property if you are close to an area affected by Asian citrus psyllid.

Fill out the form below to contact an Arborwell arborist and find out more about Psyllids and what we recommend for preventing damage and for helping trees recover if they have been attacked by high populations of Psyllids.

arborist, eucalyptus, insect, preventative tree care, psyllids, tree care

commercial tree services

Arbor-wellness: Plan for 2020

Prevention Season is Starting

Fall & winter are the most valuable time to protect your trees from next season’s insects and diseases. Whether its sticky sap, borers and bark beetles, or diseases like anthracnose or fireblight, fall or winter are ideal times to protect your trees. When treated now, trees have all winter to move protective products into and throughout their stems, twigs and roots. These products will be ready to work as soon as new growth starts next spring. Many diseases infect as soon as leaves appear, so by NOT protecting now, we are essentially playing catch-up if we don’t protect trees until after they start growing. This also most sense, given the stresses our trees have had to overcome the past several years. Stressed trees are more prone to insects and diseases because their defense systems are weakened and they have a harder time protecting themselves. So along with proper pruning, watering and mulching, protecting against insects and diseases will help them become healthy again.

My trees seem to be struggling still, why is that? 

Well most likely they are still recovering from the stresses of the drought we have had. When trees are stressed, whether it is drought, lack of irrigation, flooding, or whatever stress has occurred, they reduce the output of new leaves and new roots. They don’t produce as much energy storage and they stop producing the compounds (auxins and enzymes) that they use to ward off attacks. Thus, they become more vulnerable to damage from insects and diseases.

Will they die? 

Its hard to determine that without a good evaluation from a certified arborist. That being said, providing extra “help” for them right now is very beneficial to their recovery. Just like a marathon runner that starts out in good shape, if that runner is forced to run back to back to back marathons without the time to recover well, they become more prone to injuries and illnesses. Allowing for proper recovery allows them to run another marathon (another stress) down the road. So, trees need this recovery period too, reduced stress from lack of water, excess heat, over watering and attacks from diseases and insects, so they can build their defense systems again, like we need to recover our immune systems.

How do I help them recover? 

First reduce additional stresses – proper watering, mulching, pruning are key components to helping your trees recover. Second, by proactively protecting a tree from insects and diseases, they have a further chance to build those defense systems. If an insect – like caterpillars for instance, defoliates a tree next spring, that tree has to put new leaves out a second time. The same goes for diseases like anthracnose or fireblight. The energy the tree expends by putting out a second set of leaves prevents it from building up its defense system again, thus prolonging the recover. If this weakened tree is subject to another multi-year drought cycle, the chance of it surviving is even lower.

When is the best time to treat my trees? 

Fall and early winter are the best times by far. This allows ample time for the systemic treatment to completely circulate throughout the tree. It allows the treatment to be ready as soon as spring growing season starts again.  Late winter and early spring are the second-best time. It is still early enough to have the treatment be effective under most circumstances.

What kinds of problems can you control proactively? 

Many of the most common insects and diseases can be suppresses this way.  Insects that produce sap, most boring insects, most scale and thrips, adelgids, caterpillars and twig boring insects for example. As far as diseases go, preventing is so valuable, because by the time you see a disease on a tree, the damage has essentially been done. This is true for fireblight, anthracnose, powdery mildew, root rots like verticillium and phythophera and stem and twig cankers and needle blights on evergreens.  Lastly a nutritional supplement can be applied at the same time. Many times, a tree is stressed in part because of the lack of available nutrients in the soil. We can provide a balanced, organic nutritional supplement that will give your trees a proper feeding. Or better yet, we can sample your soil and replace exactly what your trees need.

Fill out the form below to contact your Arborwell arborist today to help you make a tree protection plan for next year.

2020, preventative tree care, Prevention, recover, spring tree care, trees, winter

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