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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

Request Tree Loss Reports in Storm Season

Big storms can be rough on your trees and cause issues that result in tree loss or heavy damage to trees. It is likely you will need to request tree loss reports during storm season and for that you require the help of one of our ISA certified arborists. At Arborwell Professional Tree Management, we can provide you with professional tree care and assessment to make sure your property recovers after storm season.

In Sacramento, San Diego and Seattle, our arborists can assess the trees on your commercial property or estate and provide you with arborist reports, which will help you to understand your options following damaging storms.

Why are tree loss reports important?

Our goal is to help your trees recover after they are damaged, and that’s why requesting a tree loss report is important for your property. These reports can help you to understand what damage storm season has done to your trees, what steps you need to take to recover and estimate what the cost of recovery is.

Most commonly people associate storms with broken branches and uprooted trees, but they can also cause fires, exacerbate disease and instigate other accidents. A report from a certified arborist does more than just inform you of the damage on your property, it can also be:

  • A way to obtain a permit for cases where you need tree removal. Many cities have strict removal laws that require official arborist reports.
  • An important document for insurance claim purposes.

When your property has been hit with a storm, Arborwell is here to help you recover with professional care from our certified arborists. We will nurse the trees your property back to health when we can, acquire permits for removal when there is no other solution, and safely remove trees that can not be revived.

Arborwell looks after you

Storms in the Seattle, San Diego and Sacramento areas can wreak havoc on the trees on your property. Let Arborwell Professional Tree Management be there for you when you need to request a tree loss report in storm season. Our ISA certified arborists will provide you with detailed, professional reports and help the trees on your commercial property regain their health and beauty. Call us today at 888-969-8733 or click here to visit us online and request an arborist report.

arborist, damage, reports, storm, trees

arborist

Commercial Tree Surveys

Do You Need A Commercial Tree Survey?

When you need your trees surveyed, Arborwell Professional Tree Management has the knowledge and experience to help you out! Its important that before you begin any work on your commercial landscape, you are aware of the health status of your trees. Whether you need tree health care plans, or you have trees that need removal and/or replacement, you can rely on our expertise.

Arborwell serves HOAs, estates, and commercial properties in San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle and Sacramento. Our ISA-certified arborists are committed to maintaining the health of the trees on your property, and a commercial tree survey is a great way to help us begin our care plans.

What does a tree survey provide?

Our trained arborists will provide you with a detailed account of the health and status of your trees. When we deliver your commercial tree survey, you can expect to see:

  • The height and width of your trees
  • The age of your trees
  • Your trees life expectancy
  • Identification of your tree’s species
  • An evaluation of the current health of your trees
  • A plan for future care of your trees

This is crucial information that we use to help you understand how to move forward with the trees on your commercial property. Our tree survey does more than just tell you what your trees need, local authorities often require a survey before any plans for change can be put into motion.

Tree removal laws can be strict, even when a tree is already dead or in a dangerous situation. You must have a tree survey before you can move forward with removal. Our experts will obtain the permits needed and ensure the safe removal of your tree.

Choose Arborwell for all your tree needs

Now that you know what a commercial tree survey is and how it can help you, its time to contact Arborwell Professional Tree Management. We will provide you with detailed information about the trees on your property and recommend how to move forward regarding the health of your trees. Click here to visit our website and request an estimate from one of our arborists or call us today at 888-969-8733.

arborist, survey, tree health, tree management

tree care

Commercial Tree Care Vs. Residential Tree Care

Your trees have the potential to be one of the most beautiful parts of your landscape, so its important that you take care of them. As a commercial tree care company, Arborwell Professional Tree Management has ISA-certified arborists that have the experience, knowledge and equipment to keep your trees healthy.

Often, those who have little knowledge of trees hire themselves out for residential tree care (handymen, guy with a pickup and a chainsaw etc.). It also may be tempting to take care of your trees yourself or with the help of an employee, but it can be a tricky and sometimes dangerous task. Arborwell serves HOAs, estates and commercial properties and can deal with all tree-related issues that arise, safely and efficiently!

We do it all when it comes to trees

Founded in 2001 in Castro Valley, Arborwell has grown exponentially over the past 2 decades thanks to our dedication to providing quality services. We now have over 200 employees and 60 vehicles, and offer tree care services all over California and in the Seattle area, including:

  • Arborist reports. Most city authorities require an arborist report before you can remove a dead or dangerous tree. Our experts can provide these reports, so you can move ahead with your landscaping plans.
  • Tree health care plans. We assess the trees on your property and devise short and long-term health plans so that they will continue to grow unhindered by disease and pests.
  • Tree replacement and removal. This can be a dangerous task and it’s one we have the proper equipment and experience for. Don’t put yourself or your employees in a dangerous situation – leave it to the experts!
  • Tree trimming. This requires more than just chopping branches off. A professional arborist knows how to trim a tree so that it looks good and promotes new growth.

Your commercial tree care experts

Arborwell Professional Tree Management is the commercial tree care company to turn to when you need help with the trees on your property. Tree care can be incredibly difficult and relying on residential care or you and your own employees can lead to disastrous and sometimes dangerous results.

We have a wide array of equipment that is appropriate working on large properties across California and in the Seattle area and we have the experts that know how to use it. If you are considering using a commercial tree care team and not relying on residential tree care, then Arborwell is the right choice! Click here to visit us online and request an estimate or call us today at 888-969-8733.

arborist, tree care, trees

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

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: Pink Rot

What is Pink rot?

Pink Rot is a disease that attacks weak or stressed palm trees. Because palms cannot repair wood tissue, they are more susceptible to diseases like pink rot when damaged or pruned too severely. It can attack any portion of the palm, including the trunk, but it most often affects new growth.

What palms does it attack?

There are a number of palm trees that are susceptible to Pink rot. We mostly see it on Washington fan palm, king palm & queen palm.

What should I do about it? 

Because there is almost always an underlying cultural problem that encourages pink rot to develop, you should try to determine that and correct the problem if possible. We can help to determine that, by the way. The underlying problem could be planting incorrectly, watered improperly, poor drainage, poor nutrition or even just the wrong palm for the site. It is important to avoid wounding a palm trunk, so even nailing something to the trunk or climbing a palm with tree spikes is not beneficial. Where it is possible to correct one or more of the above problems, it will create a longer-term solution for palm rot problems.

Can I treat the palm if it has Pink rot?

Yes, there are treatments for pink rot if the disease has not progressed too much. Treatments should begin as soon after discovery of the disease as practical. This includes a systemic treatment applied to the soil and regular fertilization with a palm specific fertilizer. Also, steps should be taken to change the conditions that are reducing the health of the palm tree.  It is important to remember that if the underlying problem is not improved, there will be an ongoing need to treat the palm and it may eventually fail anyway.

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

arborist, palm tree, Pink rot, tree, tree care

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