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Trees have a response to wounding, coined “Compartmentalization of Decay in Trees” or “CODIT.” A tree “walls” off decay in four layers of bark tissue, preventing decay from moving vertically, radially and tangentially. When a wound occurs naturally, the tree gets to work using its own defense mechanism to keep decay-causing fungi from spreading. When a wound occurs during routine tree pruning (yes – it’s a still a wound!), a trained arborist can take steps to ensure the tree is given its best shot at using its CODIT system.
Maintaining the branch collar is critical in tree pruning and allows the tree to form a proper callus around the wound. The illustration to the right shows a clear swelling of tissue at the branch collar as the tree is preparing to shed a dead limb naturally. Trees know what they’re doing! When we prune live limbs, we can use this as a model for where to make our cut – by not cutting into the branch collar. The branch bark ridge is not always obvious, and when it is not easy to identify the collar, we consider it best practice to come away from the trunk slightly. It would be better to leave more of a stub than it would be to cut into the branch collar.
In general (and certainly not in all cases), a proper pruning cut will result in a circular wound or as close to a circle as possible. In the photos, you can see the elliptical shape of the cut where the flush cut was made parallel to the trunk, but not perpendicular to the branch, resulting in a vertical ellipse where we can see the branch collar was removed.
If you are unsure where you make a proper pruning cut, it’s best to consult a certified arborist. You can read more about DIY Pruning in a previous blog post.
- Compartmentalization of Decay in Trees, Bartlett Tree Experts
- University of Iowa Extension & Outreach
Proper maintenance is essential if you want healthy and happy trees growing in your backyard. There are many tasks you can do throughout the year to ensure your trees continue to thrive. Pest control and fertilising the soil are two options. But one task that tends to get neglected by tree owners is pruning.
Tree pruning is essential for improving your tree’s structure and encouraging newer and healthier growth. What you probably didn’t know is that there are different types of tree pruning methods that can be used for your tree. Each method has its pros and cons and it’s up to you or a professional tree care expert to choose the right one.
But before we go into the different methods of tree pruning let’s clarify the definition. Tree pruning involves selectively removing branches from a tree. This removal of branches is usually done for one of two reasons; hazard reduction and maintenance. Ultimately, tree pruning is done to support the health of the tree while protecting you and your property from any potential damage.
Knowing what your tree needs is crucial for keeping it in healthy shape. Here we’ll cover the essentials when it comes to choosing the right tree pruning method for your tree. It may need a prune for maintenance or some hazardous branches that pose a safety risk. Whatever the reason, we’ll cover them here so you can make a more informed decision about tree pruning techniques.
The different types of tree pruning
Professional arborists and tree surgeons classify their tree pruning techniques and methods by where they are removing the tree’s branches from. The area of the tree where all the main branches grow into is called the crown. The area of the crown where branches are being removed from is what professionals use to define the different types of tree pruning techniques they are doing.
For this method of tree pruning, the lower branches of the crown are removed. This is a common choice for tree care professionals looking to remove branches that may be obstructing paths or roads. The lower branches of a tree tend to be bigger. So removing them results in larger wounds which can have an adverse effect on the health of the tree. The lower branches usually play a crucial role in preventing a tree from swaying in high winds. Large tree wounds can also make your tree more vulnerable to pests.
This tree pruning method involves removing branches from all over the crown. There is no particular area of the crown with a heavy focus here. This method aims to increase light penetration and air circulation throughout the tree’s crown. It is important to ensure that not too many branches are removed in this process. Small diameter branches should be the main focus. Removing too many large branches from the centre of the tree can also result in poor structure. Over time, if you only have long thin branches remaining, the tree’s swaying won’t be dampened and this can put extra stress on it during windy weather.
For a crown reduction, the aim is to reduce the overall size of the tree’s crown. All branches are shortened to help reduce the growth point of the tree. This is a popular option when a tree care professional is trying to reduce the space a tree stands in. For example, if a tree is growing in the corner of a backyard, there’s only a small perimeter it has for growth before the branches start obtruding over the fence and into the neighbour’s yard where they shouldn’t be. A crown reduction can help alleviate this issue.
Clearance tree pruning
Clearance pruning is another great option for trees that are physically obstructing objects around them. In some cases, a tree’s branches may be growing too close to electrical wires and other house features like the gutter. Some branches may simply be growing over the fence. This pruning method involves only removing the branches responsible for obstructing or growing over certain objects around them.
This tree pruning method involves removing weak branches that are dead, dying or diseased. These branches not only affect the appearance of the tree but also can pose significant risks to safety. If these weak branches remain, they can severely affect the health of the tree. By removing these branches you enable more light to come in through the crown of the tree and support the more healthy growth of newer branches that need it the most.
Formative tree pruning
In a tree’s early years it’s important to do whatever you can to encourage healthier growth in the future. Formative pruning is one of the best ways to do this. During this process, specific branches are removed to prevent structural defects and encourage a healthier and more structurally sound form. By taking care of this process during the early stages of tree development you can help eliminate the need to carry out other tree pruning tasks in the future.
Selective tree pruning
This process of tree pruning is usually done purely for aesthetics. Some branches can have a negative effect on the look of a tree. When a large branch grows out further than others it can throw off the shape and balance of the tree. Ask a professional tree arborist to do this for you, and they will ensure the process is done in a way that won’t diminish your tree’s overall health.
Throughout a tree’s life, it can start to grow branches that are over-extended, or very end-heavy. When a branch becomes too heavy it can become a safety issue. Weight reduction tree pruning is usually down for lateral branches. Lateral branches are those which grow off the main trunk of the tree. A weight reduction tree prune will help improve the safety of your tree and reduce the risk of weak branches falling off it.
Making the right choice for your tree
Now that you know of the most common tree pruning techniques, it’s time to diagnose your tree. Can you spot any structural issues? Look out for warning signs like dying or lateral branches that have outgrown their welcome. If you’re not confident about diagnosing your tree’s issues then why not call in the experts?
Here at Daryl’s Tree Care, we have a team of qualified and experienced tree arborists that can diagnose any issues your tree may have. With careful consideration, they will choose the right tree pruning techniques for your tree. They understand how important it is that your tree continues to thrive without being a safety risk to your or your neighbours. So if you’re concerned about the safety of your tree then why not give us a call? Our tree care experts can inspect your tree and provide you with a quote.
Call our professional arborists today for a tree pruning quote on 9897 4418.
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Understanding the benefits of removing a tree stump
To some, a tree stump can be an eyesore. To others, it can be a safety hazard. Whatever you think about the tree stump in your backyard you’re probably wondering why it’s still there. The rest of the tree including the trunk and branches are generally easy to remove. Depending on the size, health and species of the tree, it can be very difficult to remove the stump. Some homeowners choose to leave the tree stump in due to the difficulty of removing it.
A tree stump could be in an awkward position such as the corner of the backyard where it’s right up against the fence. If this is the case it can be very challenging to remove the stump and its roots without damaging the fence in the process. Sometimes it’s more about the cost of removing a tree stump. The tree removal process can be cheaper when the removal of the stump isn’t included in the service fee.
So how do you know when a tree stump removal is necessary for your backyard? It can come down to your personal preferences for the way your backyard looks, pricing for tree removal, and the safety of your backyard. You have to weigh up the pros and cons for yourself when it comes to tree stump removal. To help you make the right decision, we’ll break down what the benefits and disadvantages are for keeping a tree stump or calling on a tree stump removal service.
The look of your garden
A tree stump on its own can become an instant eyesore in your backyard. Especially when it’s standing on its own in the middle of the lawn where everyone can see it. If your tree stump is in a dense, bushy area it may not be so obvious. One way to cover up your unsightly tree stump is to surround it with dense garden features like pot plants, shrubs, bushes, or features like a fountain or garden bench.
Another reason to be concerned with a tree stump is the effect it has on your property’s value. If you’re looking to sell your house then an unsightly tree stump is only going to hamper the look of it. Your backyard can look more unkempt with a tree stump in it. A front garden is often part of a prospective buyer’s first impression when they see a house. So when they spot an unsightly tree stump, it may give them the impression that the house hasn’t been maintained very well.
Causing a safety hazard in your backyard
Many parents appreciate the value of playtime for kids in the backyard. But safety should always be a top priority. As a parent, you want to rest assured that your kids have a backyard to play in that’s free from safety risks. Unfortunately, a tree stump can pose a significant threat to safety in your backyard. It’s easy for anyone to trip and stumble over the root or the tree stump itself.
A tree stump can also be a liability. Imagine a neighbour or local trips over a tree stump in your front yard. You could be deemed liable for the incident and may have to pay for a costly lawsuit if someone sustains injuries from tripping over your tree stump. All of this unnecessary stress can be avoided by simply organising a tree stump removal for your front yard.
A pest control issue waiting to happen
One of the unfortunate issues with dead plants and trees is that they can attract pests. That’s why it’s so important to regularly prune the trees and plants in your backyard. When there’s less dead plant matter, there’s less food for pests and diseases. Unfortunately, dead tree stumps can instantly become a haven for garden pests and diseases.
Carpenter ants, termites, and other insects that feed on the wood are naturally drawn to dead tree stumps. Once these insects make a meal of your tree stump it’s only a matter of time until they make their way over to the healthier plants and trees in your backyard. Their presence in the backyard can also spell bad news for your home. As you’re probably already aware, insects like termites can make the jump from trees to the timber frames of your home.
So without ordering a tree stump removal, you could be putting the structure of your home at risk. If your home is prone to pests like termites and carpenter ants then it’s best to eliminate anything that might attract them in the first place.
Order a tree stump removal from Daryl’s Tree Care today
If you want to avoid all the risks associated with having a tree trunk in your backyard there’s a simple solution you can rely on. Call a tree stump removal expert today. Here at Daryl’s Tree Care, we have the right equipment for carrying out a fast and effective tree stump removal. Our experienced and skilled arborists understand the safest and most effective ways to remove a tree stump without putting the rest of your backyard in harm’s way. Contact us today to get a free quote on a tree stump removal for your backyard.
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Did you miss our previous article…
Tree Pollarding 101 – everything you need to know about pollarding.
If you are looking for ways to keep your landscape and trees looking their best, several key methods can make a huge impact on how your outdoor space looks.
A process called tree pollarding can help to create a lush, beautiful landscape that promotes healthy trees.
Read on to learn more about pollarding trees and what the process entails.
Tree Pollarding Defined
Most people likely have never heard of tree pollarding, but it is an important part of maintaining healthy trees. The process involves cutting young trees and shrubs to the main stem or trunk to control their height.
The plants are not cut at ground level but instead are cut much higher at an average height of around six feet. This process helps to maintain the desired height for your trees while reducing shade and giving the trees a defined silhouette.
Many people opt for tree pollarding to keep taller trees from getting in the way of phone lines or electrical wires. It is also done to trees located close to a home or place of business to reduce the risk of branches breaking and falling onto the roof.
While most typical tree pruning processes remove the lower and crossing limbs of a tree, the pollarding process is a bit different. Pollarding trees is often done when the tree is dormant rather than when it is actively growing. Doing this while a tree is still young or dormant promotes fuller, faster, and greener growth.
In addition to protecting wires, structures, and promoting better growth, tree pollarding may also reduce the risk of fungus and pests. It can also help to protect your trees from various diseases.
How to Pollard a Tree
To pollard a tree effectively, it is best to leave the job to the professionals. They will start by cutting off the central leader of the tree first, then proceed to cut all of the branches around it that are at the same height.
By cutting the top of the tree this way, it shortens the crown of the tree. The gardener will remove lower limbs and any crossing limbs to promote a thicker crown as it grows back.
The younger the tree, the faster the new growth will return, while older trees may take longer to regrow leaves and new branches. By pollarding large young deciduous trees, ensures that they sprout healthily to achieve fuller, greener, and lusher growth.
Once the procedure is complete, most trees will produce “waterspouts” at the various locations where it has been cut. These areas will produce sprouts that should be removed at least once per year or every other year. Eventually, knobs or knuckles will form at these locations and continue to regenerate each year.
The timing of tree pollarding is critical and should be performed during the tree’s dormant season. If the tree is pruned during its growing season, it can stunt the growth, remove its energy source, and inhibit the tree’s ability to re-sprout.
Most tree pollarding is done during the fall or winter months of the year when trees are losing their foliage. This is extremely important because most trees rely on their leaves to help produce energy for healthy growth during the warmer months of spring and summer. Removing sprouts and pollarding too early in the year can cause the tree to stop growing, or even worse – to perish.
A Tradition of Pollarding Trees
Tree pollarding originated in Europe centuries ago, and the original method was done to ensure that more abundant, smaller branches were produced. As a result, these smaller branches were removed and used as fuel or for making items such as woven baskets.
As the branches were consistently cut back, farmers would harvest the slender sprouts and use them as a food source for livestock. These slender sprouts were also utilized to help weave small fences and other structures.
Today, pollarding fruit trees is a popular method to ensure healthy growth. When the tree is pollarded correctly, it encourages more production of fruits for a bountiful harvest.
Many urban areas choose to pollard trees that line busy streets to help control their growth, preventing branches from falling onto power lines and roadways. Cutting trees back can keep them healthy while maintaining them at a smaller, more easily manageable size.
The difference between topping and pollarding trees is that tree pollarding produces large knuckles. These knuckles are the source of new growth each year and can help to ensure that the tree continues to grow healthy in the future. Imagine the knuckles on a tree as large scars that heal while new growth re-sprouts from dormant buds during the springtime.
Topping a tree does not lead to knuckle formation. This process cuts the entire top of the tree off, resulting in a large wound that can cause the tree to die. Ideally, pollarding fruit trees and other species is best to ensure a healthy outcome.
Pollarding: A Unique Technique
Whether you want to encourage healthy growth or remove threatening branches, tree pollarding is a wise way to go. This unique tree-pruning process will ensure that your trees look lush and beautiful for years to come.
Always consult with a professional arborist or landscaper if you are considering using tree pollarding as a method to ensure best results.
For more information about our services or to find out more, contact us today.
Article was written by Conner D.
Article Source: https://www.graftingardeners.co.uk/tree-pollarding-101/
What the Western Hemlock Tree Looks Like
The Western Hemlock tree is a graceful, dense and handsome evergreen belonging to the Pinaceae family. It has soft needles on its drooping branches. Since it is so dense, it casts a heavy shade and there is not much that can live beneath.
Its shape is broadly conical and it has a narrow crown. When Western Hemlock trees are mature, they grow up to 45 metres in height. They grow taller when in their native habitat, however, and grow between 50 and 70 metres tall (165 to 239 ft). In terms of girth, the trunk usually has a diameter measuring up to 2.7 metres (9 ft), making it the largest of the hemlock species. The bark of the Western Hemlock is dark brown with thin and rugged ridges.
The needles of this tree smell similar to grapefruit when they are crushed. They have rounded tips and are flat and soft. The underside of the needles has two white stripes, and they are long when they are on the sides of the twigs than when they are on the top.
The Western Hemlock’s cones don’t have stalks. They are pendulous and small and their scales are flexible, thin and papery. When they are mature they are a grey-brown colour; immature cones are green.
The scientific name for this tree is the Tsuga heterophylla.
This tree is similar to other hemlock spruce trees. It has a similar smell to the herb hemlock, hence its name but it is not related to this highly toxic plant.
History of the Western Hemlock Tree
This species is not native to the United Kingdom; it was introduced here in the 19th century.
Symbolism and mythology associated with the Western Hemlock Tree
There has been an association of the Western Hemlock tree with women among some ancient traditions of North America. The female warriors of the Kwakwaka’wakw people made western hemlock headdresses for their ceremonial dances.
In the United Kingdom, Queen Victoria was a huge fan of Western Hemlock trees. She even asked for the name to be changed to honour her husband Albert. The name Tsuga albertiana was used for a while but now its scientific name is Tsuga heterophylla.
The Western Hemlock tree can live up to 500 years.
Where Can We find Western Hemlock Trees?
As previously mentioned, the Western Hemlock is not native to the UK. This species originates in the North West of America. The north-western limit of its growth is the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska and its south-eastern limit is in California in northern Sonoma County. The Western Hemlock is associated with more temperate rainforests and most trees grow within 62 miles (100 km) of the Pacific Ocean. There does exist a population of Western Hemlocks further inland in the south-east of British Columbia, the west of Montana, the north of Idaho and in the Columbia Mountains.
The trees grow mostly at lower altitudes right from sea level up to 2,000 ft (600 m) but they grow up to 5,900 ft (1,800 m) in the range of trees in Idaho.
It’s thanks to the botanist David Douglas that Britain now has this species here. It is so popular that it is now the species of conifer that is most common in this country. The Western Hemlock is suited best to moist climates; it regenerates well in a huge variety of upland forests and grows rapidly.
These trees are integral components of forests in the Pacific Northwest and are an important tree for timber in this region.
What is the Western Hemlock’s Value to Wildlife?
Since this tree is very dense, it casts a heavy shade. This means that when there is a lot of Western Hemlocks in a plantation, there is not a lot of wildlife or plants able to live beneath them.
Uses of Western Hemlock
In the United Kingdom, Western Hemlock is mainly grown for wood pulp and timber. It is also used as an ornamental tree in gardens and parks too. The wood of the western hemlock is used commonly for boxes and roofing as it is capable of holding nails well and doesn’t split easily.
It is an important tree for other aspects of joinery too such as furniture making and doors.
If these trees are planted along riverbanks, they can help to reduce problematic erosion there.
Nutritional Uses of Western Hemlock
There is a part of the Western Hemlock’s bark that is edible: the cambium. This can be collected when slabs of bark are scraped. The shavings produced can be eaten straight away or they can be dried out and then pressed inside bread. This is what Native Americans would have done in the south-east of Alaska.
Other parts of the Western Hemlock can also be used in food production. New needles are tender and can be made into a tea that is rich in Vitamin C but also bitter. You can also chew these needles directly.
The Largest Western Hemlock Tree
The largest known Western Hemlock tree was discovered in 2018 and was added to the American National Register of Champion Trees. It has a circumference of 343 inches (8.71 metres) and is 190 feet (57.9 metres) tall. Its crown spread is 59 feet (15.24 metres).
In the United Kingdom, the largest known Western Hemlock tree is in Doune Park in Sterling, Scotland. The girth of the tree is 7.06 metres (23 feet), and it was 43 metres (141 foot) tall when it was last measured in 2009.
The Western Hemlock is an impressive species. It is well recognised by its size but it also provides valuable services in joinery, paper making, erosion prevention and food sources. What is more, it provides both shelter and food for wildlife and is also critical in the ecosystem for its role in CO2 absorption from the atmosphere as it stores carbon in the wood. Finally, it is great at purifying water too.
Article was written by Conner D.
Article Source: https://www.graftingardeners.co.uk/western-hemlock/
Hawthorn trees are commonly found in scrub, woodland, and hedgerows throughout the UK where it is native. They grow in the majority of soil types but they fruit and flower best when they are positioned in full sunlight.
Hawthorns have many common names including May tree, one-seed hawthorn, whitethorn and common hawthorn. Its Latin name is Crataegus monogyna and it belongs to the Rosacea family of trees.
The common name “May tree” is used as this is the month when the Hawthorn is in full bloom and is a sign that the seasons are changing from spring to summer. The hawthorn’s light green leaves are among the first to appear in springtime and explode with pretty white or light pink blossom during May. Hawthorns are often teeming with wildlife including many birds and bugs.
In winter, hawthorns can be identified by their spines that emerge at the same place as the buds. The blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) is different as its buds are on the spines themselves.
What do Hawthorn trees look like?
Hawthorn leaves measure around 6 cm and have deeply toothed lobes that cut to halfway to the mid-rib. The leaves turn a shade of yellow in autumn before they fall. The hawthorn tree is hermaphrodite (meaning that both the female and male reproductive parts are inside the flowers). The flowers have a strong scent and are white or light pink. They grow in clusters that are flat on top and each flower has five petals.
When hawthorns are mature, they can measure up to 15 metres tall. They are often characterised by their thorny habit, which is dense but they sometimes grow with a single stem as a small tree. The bark of the hawthorn is a grey-brown colour and is full of knots and fissures.
The twigs are brown, slender, and thorny. Oftentimes, the hawthorn creates a hybrid with the Midland hawthorn which is also native in the United Kingdom (Crataegus laevigata). It can be difficult to tell the two species apart. One difference is that the Midland hawthorn has two stigmas in the flowers while the common hawthorn has only one.
Another difference is in the fruits: the common hawthorn fruit has one seed but the Midland hawthorn fruits bear two. Finally, the Midland hawthorn’s leaves are cut deeper.
Where else are Hawthorn Trees Found?
The hawthorn is not only native in this country. You can also find it in Asia and North America.
The hawthorn is a pioneer species, often forming a large area of scrub on land that is not in use or neglected. This tree is the original hedgerow and has been associated with enclosed spaces and boundaries throughout history. Hawthorn was so frequently used as a hedgerow that in Anglo Saxon times, the word ‘haga’ meant both hawthorn and hedge. Many hedges were grown to make enclosures for deer.
One reason for their popularity as a hedge is that they are fast-growing and hardy. In the one hundred years from 1750, two hundred thousand hawthorns were planted in the UK to enclose land for cattle and sheep grazing.
The hawthorn also has a history in myth, legend and folklore. It took on an important role in the Pagan rituals associated with May Day when the flowers are at their best. It is a symbol of fertility and was the Maypole’s ancestor with its flowers and leaves forming garlands for the day too.
Often, fields retain one single hawthorn tree to be kept as a ‘fairy thorn’. There are also superstitions associated with this tree with some people believing it is bad luck to bring the hawthorn’s flowers inside the home. Legend has it that if one was to bring the hawthorn blossom into the home, illness and death would follow. Also, in medieval times, it was said that hawthorn blossom had the smell of the Great Plague. This is not surprising to us nowadays however, as botanists have now discovered that hawthorn blossom contains trimethylamine, a chemical that is one of the first to form in animal tissue when it decays!
Uses of Hawthorn
Besides being used as a hedgerow there are many other uses of the hawthorn tree. The flowers, berries and leaves are all used to produce medicines and one main use is in the treatment of high blood pressure. The properties of the hawthorn widen the blood vessels and help to increase the flow of blood around the body. Another use is indigestion, stomach cramps and anxiety.
The timber of the common hawthorn has a light brown colour with a fine, hard grain. The hawthorn is used to make veneers, cabinets, tool handles, boat parts and boxes. It is also good as charcoal and firewood because it burns at a high temperature.
Finally, young hawthorn leaves, young flowers and flower buds can all be eaten. You can put them in root salads or green salads. It is also possible to eat raw haws but they can trigger mild upset stomachs. The haws are used to make kinds of ketchup, wine, and jellies.
Place names linked to the Hawthorn in the United Kingdom
There are many place names in the UK that are linked to the hawthorn tree. These include:
- Hathern in Leicestershire (meaning ‘hawthorn’)
- Hatherdene in Hampshire (meaning ‘hawthorn valley’)
- Appleton Thorn in Cheshire
- Woodmansterne in Surrey (meaning ‘thorn of the edge of a wood’)
Hawthorn Trees and Wildlife
The hawthorn is a great wildlife tree. It provides food for lots of different species including yellow-tail moths, Duke of Burgundy butterflies and hawthorn shield bugs. Lackey moths and magpies also use the hawthorn for food. Additionally, Small Eggar moth larvae develop webs on the hawthorn leaves and grow into caterpillars. The flowers’ sweet smell is attractive to flies too, which is notable during the spring. Finally, small animals like wood mice as well as many birds like thrushes will eat the hawthorn fruit during the winter. Small birds also like the safety of the protective thorny branches for their nests.
Good Points About Hawthorn Trees
- Hawthorns are one of the few to tolerate being exposed.
- A hawthorn hedge is impenetrable.
- Hawthorns grow in well-drained soil and also even in a large tub.
- As well as being a hedge, hawthorn can be grown into a standard tree.
- The flowers are beautiful.
Negatives About Hawthorn Trees
If you have to say something bad about a hawthorn it would be that its spines are really sharp. Even when twigs are dead they keep hold of their thorns and they are strong enough to puncture car tyres.
In terms of conservation and threats, hawthorns are prone to the bacterial disease fireblight, gall mites and aphid attacks.
Article was written by Conner D.
Article Source: https://www.graftingardeners.co.uk/hawthorn-trees-crataegus-monogyna/
Effective elm leaf beetle treatment options to consider
Over the warmer months of the year, there are all sorts of pests and creepy crawlies that come out to play in your backyard. Aside from gobbling up some of your favourite veggies, there isn’t too much you have to worry about when it comes to pests. Some are just a nuisance. But some insect and bug species can cause serious damage to your backyard if left unchecked.
Pests like citrus gall wasps can cause serious damage to all the citrus trees in your backyard before spreading into neighbouring backyards. There are many other invasive species that can cause damage to your trees. One species that’s been causing major issues with local backyards in Australia is elm leaf beetles. Ask your local arborist or tree care expert and they’ll tell you elm leaf beetles are one of the most common tree pests in Australia right now.
How to identify elm leaf beetles
Elm leaf beetles were originally native to Europe before they were introduced to countries like the United States and Australia. Today they are now a common pest for many elm tree species. So if you have an elm tree growing in your backyard it’s best to look out for signs of an elm leaf beetle infestation before it’s too late.
Identifying elm leaf beetles in your backyard can be easy when you know what signs to look for. When larvae (baby elm leaf beetles) start to hatch they begin feeding on leaves. They start off by chewing the underside of leaves. Usually, the only thing that’s left behind of the leaves is the veins. This gives the leaves a skeleton-like appearance. This is your first sign of an elm leaf infestation.
After young elm leaf beetles have gone through their initial feeding phase they go through a pupal phase. They remain dormant until they grow to full adult size. When they emerge as adults they move up the tree and leave circular holes in all the leaves. While leaf damage may not seem that costly, what it can do is jeopardise the health of the tree’s branches. Without healthy leaves attached, the branches of your tree become brittle, die off and can even fall off.
Elm leaf beetles rarely cause enough damage to kill a tree but they should still be cause for concern. The damage they cause can leave your tree susceptible to other pests which can quickly take over and kill your tree in the process. So when you see the first signs of an elm leaf beetle infestation it’s time to act before more pests damage your tree further.
How to prevent elm leaf beetles from coming in the first place
When you first notice the presence of elm leaf beetles it’s important to assess the condition of your tree first. Your elm tree needs to be healthier in order to withstand the effects of pests like elm leaf beetles. There are steps you can take like eliminating drought stress. This involves making sure that your tree is watered on during the dry seasons.
Another way to maximise tree health is to fertilise your elm tree in late winter. Doing this enables a slow release of nutrients. Eliminating dead tree limbs and suckers (new shoots) will help your tree to dedicate more of its energy towards growing a healthier trunk and branches throughout the year. So for an effective elm leaf beetle treatment don’t forget to look after the health of your trees throughout the year.
Effective treatments for elm leaf beetle
While it’s very difficult to completely eradicate elm beetles, there are effective methods for keeping them at bay and preventing further damage to your trees. The most effective treatments for elm leaf beetles usually involves chemical application. Purpose made chemical solutions can be injected into the trunk/stem of your tree or the soil at the roots of it.
Another chemical treatment that can be used to treat elm leaf beetles involves canopy spraying. This method is better utilised for smaller and younger trees during the end of winter and early spring. For treatments like these, it’s best to check in with your neighbour. It makes more sense to treat all trees that are within close proximity of each other. This approach can help to prevent elm leaf beetles jumping from one chemically treated tree to infest another.
There are also non-chemical treatments that some tree care specialists offer. One of these alternatives is called non-chemical control banding. This method works by trapping elm leaf beetle larvae that usually try and migrate down the tree trunk. Applying this banding will help to break the natural lifecycle of the elm beetle so they don’t continue to grow, breed, and invade your tree.
Call in the experts at Daryl’s tree care
One of the biggest challenges of eliminating elm leaf beetles is knowing what type of treatment to use. The type of tree you have, the time of year, and the surrounding environment can influence the decision you need to make. There are also the challenges of using elm leaf beetle treatments safely. Chemicals and equipment can be hazardous when not used correctly.
To safeguard yourself and others it’s best to call in the experts when it comes to elm leaf beetle prevention and treatment. Here at Daryl’s Tree Care, we offer a range of elm leaf beetle treatment options. Our arborists and tree care experts can visit your property and carry out a proper inspection of all the trees in your backyard. They can safely and efficiently identify the best elm leaf beetle treatments for your trees.
If you have any further questions about our elm leaf beetle treatment options then call us today on 9897 4418.
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