Frequently Asked Questions
ANTHRACNOSE FUNGUS. Why does anthracnose fungus only occur some years and not others?
Anthracnose, as with most fungal conditions, flourishes in cool, damp conditions. When we have a cool, damp spring, Anthracnose is much more likely to be an issue. Read more on Anthracnose Fungus
TREE ANTS - Doesn’t the fact that ants are hollowing out the crevasse of a tree at a faster rate than normal compromise its stability?
Actually, no…in fact, the opposite is true! When wet, spongy, decaying wood is trapped inside a tree, the healthy wood it contacts is more apt to decay. Having ants clear out the decaying wood allows better air flow into the cavity, allowing the area to dry out and not decompose as quickly. So, in a way, the ants may be somewhat beneficial! Read more on Ants (Carpenter Ants)
IRON DEFICIENCIES - Can chelated Iron be spread on the ground around the root system of the tree?
It can, but any ‘green up’ that may occur in the leaves will be minimal and short-lived. Again, even though there may be more Iron, the alkalinity in the soil will prevent its solubility and uptake. Read more on Iron Chlorosis
IRON DEFICIENCIES - Can the soil be acidified to reduce the alkalinity?
This process is also an option, but not one that most homeowners are willing to adopt once they realize the following: Adding sulphur to lawns and gardens in high enough quantities to help the chlorotic tree hurts other trees, shrubs and grass in the area. The roots of a tree extend beyond the 'drip line' of the canopy, and most other plantings will not grow in highly acidic soil. Read more on Iron Chlorosis
JAPANESE BEETLES - If grub control is used on the lawn, then Japanese Beetles won’t be an issue, right?
UNFORTUNATELY, NO. A flying Japanese Beetle adult can ‘smell’ a target plant from miles away. If Japanese Beetles were present last year, they will be present again this year and most likely in a heavier concentration, as their numbers seem to increase yearly once established in an area. Read more on Japanese Beetle
JAPANESE BEETLES - Should ‘Bag-A-Bug’ traps from the hardware store be used to trap Japanese Beetles?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! We always hear homeowners say they end up with hundreds of Japanese Beetles in these bags, but these are PHEROMONE TRAPS. Japanese Beetles can smell trees and shrubs that they like up to a mile away, but they can smell these pheromone traps up to 5 miles away. So by using these traps in a yard, 4-5 times as many of these insects will flock to that immediate area, and they will gravitate to the trees to feed prior to flying to the bags to mate! Read more on Japanese Beetles
MULCHING - Our landscaper piled the mulch onto the trunks of our trees. We assumed that they knew what they were doing. Is this correct?
NO! It never fails to amaze us that some in our industry don’t know the basic do’s and don’ts of their own business. Keep in mind that your landscaper works for you! Explain what is expected and make sure that they mulch properly. Read more on Mulching
MULCHING - We’ve piled mulch up against our tree trunks for years. Why haven’t we lost any trees yet?
We are not saying you will definitely lose a tree due to improper mulching practices. What we are saying is that this practice greatly increases the chances that a tree might die at some point in the future if this type of mulching is practiced consistently.
In 2011, a client of 15 years called saying that his pride and joy 30-inch diameter Sugar Maple (which he transported and planted 40 years earlier from his grandparents’ farm and that shaded the entire back of his house and deck) looked really sick all of a sudden.
Upon inspection, we pulled the mulch off the trunk (which we had warned the homeowner about several times over the years). We were able to grab the loose, rotting bark by hand and pull it off the tree with little effort. Beneath the bark, all types of different insects were scurrying about. This gorgeous, coveted tree was now dead.
Remember…PILE MULCH HIGH, YOUR TREE MAY DIE! Read more on Mulching
PRODUCT COST VS. QUALITY - Why don’t all companies offer the more expensive, modern products if that’s what works?
There are two answers to this question:
- Some companies are just ‘set in their ways’. They just don’t keep up with modern technology.
- More expensive products lower a company’s profit margins.
Tree Green, Your Tree M.D. is confident in our ability to accurately diagnose and treat your distressed trees. Our goal has always been to offer the best possible products and application timing in the industry. This type of service may cost our clients a bit more, but in the long run, the promised results are spectacular!
YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR…Let’s say you spend $100.00 to treat a tree (opting to use a less expensive company using inferior products which don’t work very well if at all), over a company who may have charged $200.00 to treat the same tree with the best products available.
Have you saved $100.00 going the less expensive route, or have you not only wasted the $100.00 you spent, but actually cost yourself more considering the fact you will may end up having to remove and replace the tree that ended up dying due to sub-standard treatment? Read more on the Tree Green 'Promise'
WATERING - How do I water properly and know when I’ve achieved the recommended 2 inches in the area that I am watering?
It is best to water with a traditional sprinkler. A sprinkler best duplicates rainfall, depositing water to all areas where roots may be present. To judge 2 inches of water, place a rain gauge in the yard in the area that is to be watered. (Make sure that excess water dripping from limbs or leaves above the gauge is not an issue, as that will fill up the gauge much sooner and throw off the reading). Note the time it takes to achieve the 2 inches with that particular sprinkler. Read more on Watering
WATERING - Is it OK to water with a probe?
Most of us have seen it. A hose attached to a probe stuck a few feet into the ground to get those ‘really deep roots’. This practice is a total waste of good water since 90% of a trees ‘feeder’ roots are located in the top 8-10 inches of soil. And, this is true even for the biggest 300 year old Oak trees. ‘Structural’ roots go deeper than that, but they won’t absorb enough water to help the tree. Roots train themselves to stay shallow to take advantage of the ‘light’ rainfalls, which are the norm, versus the more rare, deep soaking rains we receive. Pushing the probe 2 feet into the ground misses the feeder roots, covers too small of an area, and requires too much supervision as the probe needs to be moved constantly. In addition, it is often easy to forget that the hose is running as we get distracted during the day. Read more on Watering
WATERING - I have an automatic watering system on a timer. Shouldn’t my plants be getting plenty of water?
Watering systems on timers are actually more of a problem! These systems are too convenient for their own good. We can’t tell you how many sick trees we are called out to inspect that are dying due to too much water from watering systems that activate on a timer. Even 10-20 minutes per zone every 2-3 days is too much! When we dig up the roots, we find they are black, slimy and have no fine root hairs for water absorption capability.
This type of frequent watering is great for the grass but deadly for most trees and shrubs. When the ground is wet this often, crucial oxygen cannot penetrate the soil. If the roots don’t get an opportunity to dry out on a regular basis and obtain oxygen, trees and shrubs develop ‘wet feet’ and roots begin to rot away. Again, use the rain gauge to determine how long it takes to put down 2 inches of water. If a homeowner plans on having the greenest lawn in the neighborhood, their trees and shrubs will unfortunately suffer.
Tree Green recommends disregarding the automatic timer on the watering system. You can enjoy the convenience of a watering system from the standpoint that you don’t need to drag a hose around, but only activate the zones on an as-needed basis as outlined above. Read more on Watering