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: Keep Adelgids away from your Hemlocks

What are these cottony looking white things on my Hemlock? 

Most likely they are adelgids. Adelgids are similar to aphids and can be very devastating in large numbers. They prefer Hemlock trees but are also found on other conifers like Douglas fir, larch, pine and spruce. They can produce white, cottony tufts on bark, branches, twigs, or needles. 

Will they harm my trees?

When present in large numbers, adelgids may cause yellowing and early dropping of needles and dieback of terminals. They can retard or kill trees, although healthy plants can usually tolerate small adelgid populations.

Can I get rid of them?

When the population builds high enough, there are ways to treat your conifers to reduce the populations. Treatment now is important if the populations are causing problems. Otherwise preventative treatments in the fall or early spring will help.

What can I do to help my tree look better?

Proper nutritional feeding and avoiding tree stresses – like lack of water or even salt build-up, will help. On conifers it is important not to over feed them and produce excess growth. At Arborwell, we use a very specific program that has the proper balance of nutrients for each type of tree. If you suspect salt may be a problem, we can identify how bad the problem is and provide cost effective solutions for that.

Fill out the form below to contact your Arborwell Arborist today and we will be happy to check out your hemlock – and all your conifers – to keep them healthy, now and for the future.

adelgids, arborist, conifers, hemlock, insects, plant health, plant health care

Arbor-wellness: Trees and Water

When I ask what the most limiting factor is for tree health, I often get answers like insects or diseases, the right climate, or even compacted and poor soils. And while those are all important factors in tree health, the most important is actually water. If a tree does not have water it will die.

Proper watering is an essential part of caring for trees.  But how much to water and when are critical to understand.

Here are some guidelines:

Water deeply – Water the soil, where the roots are. We recommend deep watering in the root zone, which is out from the trunk to the edge of the canopy, and getting the soil moist at least 12 inches down each time you water.  For established trees, this should be done every 8 weeks during the dry season. For trees that require more water – like maples and redwoods – the frequency should be every three to four weeks. Young trees require watering more often too, but since their canopy is smaller, the area to water will be smaller.

Most importantly, avoid frequent, light watering – Trees require a very different watering schedule than turf or even most shrubs, so having a way to water trees separately can be very valuable.

When trees are not watered deeply, it often leads to moisture or drought stress by mid-summer.  Drought stress can increase a tree’s susceptibility to certain diseases and insects.  Dry soils can cause the death of small roots and reduce a tree’s capacity to absorb water, even after the soil is re-moistened.

There is no way to look at the soil from above and tell how much moisture is in it. To determine how dry the soil is, you must probe the soil, either with a trowel by hand, or with a moisture meter. Hand moisture meters do help, but at Arborwell we have new state of the art wireless meters that are installed in the ground and read the moisture on a continual basis. When trees are very valuable and there is concern for their survival, then long term monitoring is the best way to track and analyze how often to water and how much to put on. These same sensors can be used for shorter duration monitoring if you are auditing the irrigation system to determine the best schedule and timing for an automatic drip or bubbler system

Don’t forget the trees on your parkway – During droughts street trees need water too.

Keep checking in the fall – Trees and shrubs, especially evergreens and newly planted trees, need ample water in their root systems as they go into winter. So continue to water as long as you can.

Water trees in containers more frequently – Because there is little soil to hold water around their roots, container plants can dry out and wilt fairly easily. If container plants are in full sun, they will likely require more frequent watering than those in shade.

Check on sensitive trees and shrubs – Drought-sensitive trees and plants that are likely to show the effects of reduced moisture include magnolias, Japanese maples, dogwoods, beeches, larches, tulip trees, redwoods and birches.

Spread mulch –  A layer of organic mulch, such as shredded bark or wood mulchto insulates soil against extremes of temperature fluctuations and holds in soil moisture. Apply no more than three inches deep of mulch in a circle around trees. Do not let mulch touch the trunk.

What systems to use – On larger properties and irrigation system is a must. We recommend a drip or bubbler system. These should be checked on a regular basis for clogs and leaks. Older irrigation systems often used spray heads around trees and many sites still have them. Above ground water is far more inefficient. The proper area around the tree is usually not covered adequately by the spray and the trunk of the tree is often sprayed excessively. Most spray heads also put out too much water at one time, so the ground cannot absorb enough before it starts to run off. When it is possible, these spray systems should be converted to drip or bubbler systems. The water savings alone will offset the cost down the road.

Reclaimed water – This is an important consideration as more and more sites are being watered with reclaimed water. The drawback to this water is the high salt content of most reclaimed water. At Arborwell, we can recommend ways to reduce the salt build-up from reclaimed water. This is important because too much salt will cause problems with many trees. If your site has reclaimed water, the advanced moisture sensors we use also measure salinity. This helps us watch and act to reduce the salt build up before it affects the trees.

If you have any questions or concerns about your trees health, fill out the form below to get in contact with one of Arborwell’s certified arborists!

arborist, reclaimed water, soil, tree care, trees, water

commercial tree services

Arbor-wellness: Keeping Palm Trees Healthy

Most pictures of California include palms in the skyline. They have become an iconic symbol of the state. There is even one California based fast food company that feature palms in their logo and at all of their sites. The taller palms are easy to see in the skyline and remind us of sunny days and warm breezes.

For the most part palms seem to be easy to grow. They grow quickly, are fairly drought tolerant and handle most of our weather variances well. However, they do need maintenance and – in many cases, protection – from certain diseases and insects.

While we classify palms as a type of tree, they are very different from shade trees or evergreen conifers. They are actually closer related to grasses and as such, have very different needs than most other trees.

With palms it is important to make sure they are planted correctly. They need well drained soil, to be planted at the right depth and with enough space for their roots. Palm roots don’t extent too far though so smaller planters are acceptable for them. However, they will still need some water so the planter needs to allow for them to be watered when needed.

They also need regular fertilizer. Most of our soils in a city environment do not contain the components necessary for a palm to truly thrive. Palms receive a bulk of their nutrients from a very small area, so that area needs to be replenished on a regular basis. For most palms, feeding twice a year with a natural fertilizer blended especially for palms should be adequate. For larger palms like the Canary Island date palm, three times a year is recommended.

Watering is critical, but it also depends on the soil type and the drainage. IF your soil is sandy and drains well, watering every four to six weeks is usually adequate for an established palm. If the soil is heavy or doesn’t drain well, water less often. You should also consider improving drainage and the soil conditions if the soil is compacted and tight.

Protection from diseases. Several of the prevalent diseases on palms – like pink rot and diamond scale – are worse when palms are stressed or not growing vigorously. Proper water, drainage and fertilization that we discussed above will reduce the incidence of these problematic diseases. However, protective treatments should be made until the underlying soil, drainage or watering problems are fixed.

The remaining concern is insects on palms. While generally there are not a lot of pests that can bother palms, on occasion they will become infested. Aphids, scale, mealy bugs and mites are the most common insects we see. These don’t kill a palm, but they can weaken it and allow diseases or other problems to proliferate. If these have been a problem on your palms, proper treatments will reduce the problems and allow your palms to thrive again. In the San Diego area, there is a destructive newer insect that does kill palms. It is called the South American palm weevil. One of the largest insects we deal with, it attacks the upper growing tip of the palm and completely destroys it. Since this is the only growing part of the palm itself, the palm does not survive. Proactive treatments are the only possible solution.

If you are worried about the health of your palm trees, or you would like some advice on a maintenance plan for them, fill out the form below to contact your certified arborist at Arborwell. We will be happy to visits your site and inspect them and develop a wellness program for their long term health and survival.

arborist, palm tree, plant health care, tree care

plant wellness

What Is an Arboriculturist?

Though many people are aware that an arborist takes care of trees, they may not know that arborists are people who have studied the science of arboriculture. Arboriculture refers to the careful selection, planting and management of trees and shrubs. An arboriculturist, also known as an arborist, is a professional tree carer who utilizes specific methods to ensure that the trees in their care are happy and healthy.

Arborwell Professional Tree Management employs certified arborists who use arboriculture practices when caring for the trees on your commercial property. Our experts use these scientifically sound practices to ensure that your trees are cared for through every stage of their long lives.

What does an arboriculturist do?

An arboriculturist adheres to key values when it comes to taking care of trees. They are important factors in creating an environment in which your trees can thrive. When an arboriculturist cares for your trees, they will follow these values:

  • Choose a healthy sapling. An arboriculturist doesn’t want to start on the wrong foot. They will help to select the healthiest sapling that will grow into a strong tree. An unhealthy sapling may grow to be an unhealthy tree and lead to future headaches for you.
  • Be aware of the environment the tree is living in. Selecting the right tree for your environment can be the difference between life and death for that tree. An arboriculturist must be aware of the climate challenges that make up the environment and carefully select the right type of tree to thrive in those conditions.
  • Change the type of care as the tree grows. A young tree requires vastly different care than a well-established tree. Saplings grow at an intense pace and need help with maintaining a strong structure, while older trees require less hands-on care and more preventative measures.
  • Have a strong base of tree biology knowledge. If arboriculture was easy, everyone would be doing it. An arboriculturist must have extensive knowledge of the biological functions and requirements of trees in order to create wellness and management plans.
  • Employ preventative care. An established tree with a strong base looks as though it can survive any challenge. But trees are very sensitive to change, whether it be because of disease, pests, or weather changes. Arboriculturists use wellness plans as preventative measures to ensure that a tree is as stress-free as possible.

Arborwell can help your trees thrive

Arborists at Arborwell use these arboriculture methods when taking care of your trees. Our experts can explain what an arboriculturist does and share their knowledge to the benefit of your commercial property. Click here to request an arborist assessment with one of our experts or call us at 888-969-8733 today.

arborculturist, plant health, tree care, tree management

arborist

Have You Requested an Arborist Appraisal Recently?

Do You Need to Request an Arborist Appraisal?

Requesting an arborist appraisal is an essential step when developing land, assessing your property and managing your landscape. Arborwell Professional Tree Management arborists can evaluate your existing trees and provide detailed arborist reports to aid you in making decisions about your trees. When is the last time you requested an arborist appraisal for your commercial property?

Our ISA-certified arborists are tree experts and they have plenty of experience performing appraisals for all sorts of commercial properties. Among other cities, Arborwell offers expert appraisal services in Seattle, Sacramento and San Diego.

What does an appraisal tell you?

An arborist appraisal can help you understand the value your trees add to your property by assessing, recommending and clarifying your tree’s needs including:

  • Tree type and condition. This will help you to understand the value of your trees to your commercial property value by informing you of their life expectancy, structural integrity, and any disease or pest issues. We also detail how to enhance your tree health through long-term care to add more value to your property.
  • Recommend tree removals and relocations. Cities often require permits before you can remove trees, and an arborist appraisal can help you achieve that. Our experts identify the reasons for removal when trees are hazardous, or relocation plans during landscape or structural renovation. They also include details on how to protect trees during relocation, to ensure their survival.
  • Giving details of the necessary tree work. An appraisal is a professional report that will help you and the city understand what work your trees require. It will also describe how to do it in a way that preserves and protects your trees. Our appraisal will help you through all the steps of your property development or management.

Arborwell is the best choice for arborist appraisals

Let the ISA certified arborists at Arborwell Professional Tree Management help you to understand the value of the trees on your property. Have you benefited from an arborist appraisal recently? Don’t hesitate to call us at 888-969-8733 or click here to request an appraisal online today.

arborist appraisals, tree health, tree value

Tree and Brush Removal Laws Vary by State and City

The laws surrounding tree and brush removal can be complex and sometimes difficult to understand. Laws vary between states and even cities, largely because of the wide variety of climates that occur across America and because of the important role that trees and brush play in local ecosystems.

Arborwell Professional Tree Management provides arborist and tree maintenance services for commercial properties, estates, municipalities and HOA’s and we are well versed in local laws concerning the removal of trees and brush. We can help you to navigate these laws and get you the permits you need to continue developing your property.

Why are tree removal laws so different?

Tree and brush removal laws are varied based on location because of different environmental factors and needs. In California, there are strict laws regarding vegetation within 100 feet of structures. The law states:

  • The first thirty feet from a structure must be clear of all dead plant material.
  • Tree branches must be ten feet from chimneys and other trees.
  • The last seventy feet must focus on fuel reduction, meaning lawns should be mowed regularly and areas underneath trees should be clear.

These laws aim to improve wildfire safety by reducing the chance of buildings and structures burning down. In places like Seattle, trees and brush play an important role in the ecosystems so laws revolve around retaining vegetation:

  • There are limits to the number of trees you can cut down.
  • You need a permit to remove non-native or invasive vegetation and plant native species.
  • You need permits to remove trees and vegetation in landslide prone and steeply sloped areas.

These are just a taste of the differences in tree and brush removal laws in California and Seattle. Before you go ahead with your property development be sure you are aware of your local laws and the permits you need to obtain!

Ask Arborwell about your local laws

At Arborwell Professional Tree Management our arborists are knowledgeable of local laws regarding tree removals and can help you understand them. Regardless of past experiences with tree and brush removal, we recommend to always check with your local government before removal as they will have the latest information on potential law changes.

Save yourself the trouble of accidental illegal removals and call one of our ISA certified arborists at 888-969-8733 today or contact us online to learn more about the tree and brush removal laws in your state and city.

brush clearing, city requirements, fire safety

common tree diseases

Arbor-wellness: Bacterial Leaf Scorch

I’ve been told my oak trees have bacterial leaf scorch, what is that?

Bacterial Leaf Scorch is a devastating disease of shade trees caused by a bacteria. The bacteria themselves live inside the tree’s water conducting tissue. They “cluster” inside the water transport tissue and essentially block water transport, which leads to the scorch symptoms.

The disease will slowly progress throughout the tree for up to a decade causing dieback and eventually killing the tree.

What trees are affected by it?

Symptoms and damage are usually most visible on pin and red oaks, but shingle, bur and white oak can be affected as well. It can infect elm, sycamore, mulberry, sweetgum, sugar maple, and red maple.

How does it spread?

Insects like sharpshooters, treehoppers, leafhoppers, and spittlebugs spread the bacterium from one tree to another. These insects feed on the xylem tissue and will inoculate the tree if they carry the bacteria with them.

Can you treat for this?

It is best to treat before the tree has Bacterial Leaf Scorch or in the early stages of it. Your Arborwell Arborist can develop treatment plans after determining the scope of the problem on your site. They can determine if preventative treatments or early curative treatments are required. If certain pests are prevalent, treatment to prevent their establishment may be recommended.

Also remember that a stressed tree will develop symptoms faster, so keeping trees properly watered and mulched are another way to help reduce the spread of this disease.

If you are concerned about bacterial leaf scorch, or other problems on your trees, contact your Arborwell arborist to help you create the most effective management plan for them.

arborist, bacterial leaf scorch, plant health care, tree care

Arbor-wellness: Cherry Bark Tortrix

What is the Cherry Bark Tortrix?

The cherry bark tortrix, is an introduced caterpillar pest in western Washington  and from British Columbia south to parts of Oregon coastal areas. It is found mostly on cherry, plum, and apple; but may also be found on peach, crabapple, pear, hawthorn, mountain ash and quince.

Why do I need to worry about it?

It is a growing problem in our area. It can kill trees outright through girdling the trunk. Typically, though, heavy infestations around the graft lead to dieback above the graft. The stress associated with an infestation can leave trees susceptible to secondary disease and insect problems.

How does it spread?

Cherry Bark Tortrix is a smaller moth, whose caterpillar stage does the damage inside the lower tree trunk. They overwinter in the trunk and emerge in the mid-late spring time frame. The adults lay eggs in cracks and wounds in the bark area in late summer. Large populations will kill the trees as they girdle around the tree. Initial infections will stress the tree and often cause a gummosis that exudes from the bark.

What is the best way to treat it?

Protection from these late summer infections is usually the best proactive treatment, but spring systemic treatments are also effective and should be considered if you are concerned about this pest. Your Arborwell Arborist can insect your trees and determine a treatment plan. Typically they include a treatment to suppress any existing problem, then an annual proactive treatment to prevent further infestations. Proper tree health is also important, so they may recommend nutritional feeding and corrective pruning if needed.

If you are concerned about cherry bark tortrix, or other problems on your trees, contact your Arborwell arborist to help you create the most effective management plan for them.

arborist, cherry bark tortrix, seattle

Arbor-wellness: Leaf Spot

I see dark spots on my maple leaves and many of them are falling off. Is this a problem?

Your maple probably has a type of leaf spot disease. Leaf spot is a term used to describe a wide variety of diseases affecting the leaves of ornamental and shade trees. The majority of leaf spots are caused by fungi, but some are caused by bacteria. Leaf spots on trees are very common. They often result in some leaf drop. When the leaf drop is severe, your trees can be at risk of suffering damage until they recover.

How does it spread?

Most spread by rain or water splashing on their leaves. They often overwinter on fallen leaves, so leave removal in the fall we reduce many of these diseases. There are many different leaf diseases and some require fairly specific treatment, so having a professional help identify a management plan is critical.

How do they affect tree health?

If you think of a tree as an energy factory, the amount of leaves and the time they stay on the tree greatly influence the amount of energy they produce and store throughout the year. (Think photosynthesis.) when a tree loses the majority of its leaves from a leaf spot disease, the tree cannot store enough energy over time and becomes more susceptible to other diseases or insects.

Can you treat this disease?

Yes, in cases where significant damage is expected, treating either before or during the infection is appropriate. Preseason protection is always the best, but options exist for treating early before the disease becomes widespread too. Typically, some nutritional feeding is recommended to help the tree recover from the stress of these leaf diseases.

What else can I do?

Some slight changes in how you care for your trees can help reduce the incidence of leaf diseases. Proper pruning to keep the canopy open is the first step.  Avoiding overhead watering on the foliage is another important step. Keeping your trees healthy is also important. Be sure to fertilize correctly, though. At Arborwell, we use a nutritional feeding program that is proper for your trees and your soil conditions.

If you are concerned about leaf spot or other problems on your trees, contact your Arborwell arborist to help you create the most effective management plan for them.

disease, leaf spot, plant health care, spring

arborist

Tips for Spring Tree Care in Seattle

Spring is here in the Seattle area and Arborwell Professional Tree Management has plenty of tips for keeping your trees in top condition. Our tree experts know that the burst of springtime growth combined with winter damage can leave a tree vulnerable to disease and pests. Our tree experts have the knowledge and expertise to help your trees recover and flourish in springtime.

We want your trees to be in peak health during the growing season. Our arborists can asses the needs of your trees and offer their professional opinion and services to keep your trees healthy. Here are some tips for spring tree care:

  1. Repair damaged trees. At Arborwell our ISA Certified Arborists have experience nursing damaged trees back to full health. Trees take a beating over the winter from storms and the dead and dying branches need to be cleared. Weakened areas should be removed before they have a chance to become diseased. Our arborists will prune these areas to make way for new growth.
  • Tree Removal. In some cases, a tree may need to be removed. Our tree experts will do everything they can to save your tree, but sometimes the damage is too extensive. Once the tree becomes a safety hazard it will have to be removed. Arborwell provides tree removal services to quickly and efficiently remove these hazards.
  • Pest and disease avoidance. Trees are weakened during the winter and can be vulnerable in spring to infestations and disease. Pay close attention to the health of your tree to avoid pests, fungal growth and disease. Our arborists have the knowledge to identify these problems and the tools to prevent future issues.
  • Tree trimming. To keep your trees growing happily and healthily its important to prune dead and dying branches. This will allow for more sunlight to reach your tree and help it grow unhindered by the extra weight of dead branches. Trimming is also important in maintaining tree shape and keeping it away from electrical lines.

Arborwell can help you manage your trees

If you want the best in tree care services in the Seattle area, consider Arborwell Professional Tree Management. These tips for spring tree care in Seattle are only part of the knowledge our tree experts can provide for you. Call us at 888-969-8733 or click here to request one of our ISA Certified Arborists to complete an assessment and report of your trees.

plant health, seattle, spring tree care, tree trimming

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