fall tree care

5 Tips On Transplanting Trees

If you love trees then you hate to see them go to waste. If you have trees growing on your property in inconvenient places you might want to transplant them someplace else, why not, it’s a free tree! Here is a list of 5 tips to help you transplant a tree properly.

Prepare the Sitetree transplant

Before you even dig up the tree you should dig the hole first. It should be about three times as wide and the same depth as the root ball. If you are planting in the fall or the tree is more than 1 inch in diameter, you can rinse the soil off the roots to make it easier to handle. Set the tree in the hole so that the soil line on the tree is even with the surrounding soil. Don’t plant too deep. Cover the roots with dirt and gently pack it. Use the end of a shovel to pack dirt in further and create holes for watering. Form the dirt around the base of a tree into a bowl shape to keep water from flowing out and eroding the dirt away.

Save the Roots

The amount of roots you need to transplant a tree depends on the diameter of the trunk. Deciduous trees with a 1-inch trunk diameter should have a root ball size of about 18 inches wide and 14 inches deep. For a 2-inch diameter trunk, the root ball should be at least 28 inches wide and 19 inches deep.

Plant in the Fall

The best time to plant a tree is when the tree is dormant. Do so before the ground freezes and it can still receive adequate rainfall. Fall planting allows nutrients to be directed to the roots since there is no more demand from leaves.

Water Regularly

prune branches

Because it’s impossible to not damage roots when you transplant a tree, newly transplanted trees need a regular watering schedule for the first two to three years after planting, especially during dry periods. If you are transplanting in the fall when the tree is dormant it is not recommended to water after the first frost.

Prune

To help promote root growth and lessen stress on the tree, young trees should have lower branches pruned. This is especially true if you are planting in any season other than fall. This will help balance the loss of roots and the shock of the transplant. Remember, trees grow out, not up, so those knee high branches are going to have to be cut at some point anyway.

Trees that are over 2 inches in diameter can weigh several hundred pounds. Trees this size should be handled by a professional. If you have any trees that need planting make an appointment with PPM today.

Five Insects That Can Harm or Kill Your Trees

For a Michigan homeowner your trees are your pride and joy. You take care of them mulching, and pruning and hope they grow big and strong. But no matter how big or strong your tree is they can easily be harmed by the smallest of organisms. Here is a list of 5 dangerous insects that can cause serious damage or even kill your trees.

Tent Caterpillars Tent caterpillar

Have you noticed those silky webs covering your tree’s branches in the spring? Those are tent caterpillars and they can be aggressive destructive to your trees. Tent Caterpillars look similar to Gypsy Moths but live in large clusters inside the silky tent. From their tent the caterpillars can wreak havoc on the rest of the tree and can affect the tree’s growth. You can get rid of them with pesticides or pruning the branch the tent is on and destroy it. Do not use fire as it will kill the host branch and potentially damage the tree itself.

Gypsy Moths

Found in every county in the Lower Penninsula, the Gypsy Moth has been a plague on Michigan trees for the last 30 years. The caterpillars can leave a tree stripped of its foliage.  This will cause the tree to be stressed and vulnerable to other insects and diseases. The Gypsy Moth population was decimated in the 90s by the introduction of a fungus that kills them in the caterpillar stage. It was so effective that dead caterpillars could be seen on the sides of trees.  Their population is swelling again as recent droughts and dry springs have prevented the fungus from growing, allowing caterpillars to progress into their moth stage and lay large batches of eggs.

Elm Bark Beetle

Native to Europe and the culprit behind Dutch Elm Disease, the Elm Bark Beetle has ravaged the elm population almost to extinction in several rounds over the last century. The trees are not harmed by the beetle itself but by the deadly disease is carries. The disease causes the tree to defend itself by plugging the tissues that transport water up the tree, depriving it of nutrients and eventually killing it from the top down. Signs of an infection include yellowing leaves that progressively spread down the tree and eventually total leaf loss.

Emerald Ash BorerEmerald Ash Borer

Native to China, the Emerald Ash Borer has killed over 30 million Ash trees in southwestern Michigan since it’s first discovery in the state in summer 2002. The beetle has the potential to wipe out 700 million trees in Michigan.  Several counties are under quarantine to stop the transportation of Ash wood. The beetle attacks the tree by boring under the bark to feed. These boreholes prevent water and nutrients from going up the tree and can kill a large Ash tree in 3 to 4 years.

Asian Longhorn Beetle

Maple trees are one of the most popular shade trees in Michigan yards. They could be at risk from the Asian Longhorn Beetle, an invasive species with a particular appetite for Maple. While not currently a menace in Michigan, the insects have already claimed 18,000 trees in neighboring Ohio, making its arrival almost inevitable. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development believes that it could be worse than the Emerald Ash Borer since it is known to attack 12 different species of trees.

 

If you have an infected or dead tree call the professionals at PPM to take care of it for you before it infects other trees.

Haunted Forest: 5+ Spooky Attractions For The Halloween Season

It’s that time of the year when trees put on one final show before shedding beauty for the winter but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy them. A great way to enjoy the Halloween season and get one final use out of our trees is to visit a haunted forest.

Deranged Haunt – Romulushaunted forest

Deranged Haunt features a haunted trail that covers five terrifying acres as well as a haunted house. It’s open from September 21st through October and the $13 admission covers both attractions.

Terrified Forest – Clarkston

Ghosts and ghouls have been terrorizing guests for over twenty years at Terrified Forest in Clarkston. This family-owned attraction takes you through a haunted forest. It is  nearly a mile long as well as a two story haunted manor.

The Haunted Forest at Adventure Park – West Bloomfield

Families with small children or those who want a more friendlier, less scary time check out the haunted forest at West Bloomfield Adventure Park. Friendly characters escort you along the way.  At the end there’s a pumpkin hunt where you can take your own pumpkin home. For teens and adults there is the scarier Terror Trail.

A Terror in Townsend Forest – Clarkston

This family friendly attraction features a half mile walk of terror through a haunted forest and archery range.  This is put on by the Oakland County Sportsman’s Club.

haunted manor

Scarefest Scream Park – Lennox Township

Voted top haunt in Detroit, Scarefest Scream Park boasts five unique attractions from the traditional hayride and forest to a haunted castle. They also feature haunted camping for adults. Only for the bravest of the brave. Expect to be terrorized and chased through the forest for 13 hours.

Rotten Manor – Holly

Featuring the largest custom built haunted house in Michigan, Rotten Manor is a highly-detailed one of a kind attraction that changes annually. Last year they added the Rotten Forest/Asylum. This is a mix of indoor/outdoor scares. Both attractions take about 35-45 minutes.

If your yard looks like you could open a haunted forest call the professionals at PPM or call us at (877) 454-8733

Tree Removal and Pruning: Why Fall is the Perfect Time for Tree Care

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing colors and trees are getting ready to go dormant for the winter. After a full season of growing your trees may look a little unruly and need a trim. It’s also a time when disease-bearing insects go into hibernation or die, making it the ideal time to think about tree removal.

Pruning

fall tree removal pruning is a great way to get your tree ready for fall

Pruning not only helps your trees look aesthetically pleasing, it also keeps the tree growing healthy. Low hanging, unnecessary branches draws water and nutrients away from the rest of the tree. Cutting these branches off in the fall, when the tree’s growing cycle has stopped, will redirect the nutrients to the rest of the tree and bolster its growth in the spring.

What To Use

Low hanging and small reachable limbs can be cut with pruning shears, clippers, or hand saws. Don’t worry about protecting the fresh cuts unless the species is susceptible to disease. Large, out of reach limbs or entire tree removal should be done by a professional.

Signs That It’s Time to Remove That Tree

Fall is upon us and by now the leaves on your trees are beginning to change colors and fall. If you have any sick trees in your lawn then fall is a great time to identify them and have them removed before winter comes. Here are a few diseases to watch out for:

Dutch Elm Disease

Carried by bark beetles, this invasive disease was first reported in the U.S. in 1928. By 1950 it had spread to Detroit and it’s suburbs, devastating the lofty elms that shaded most streets at the time. Despite a large-scale spraying campaign the disease spread through Michigan, decimating the elm population through the 70s. Since then the disease has come back several times and still affects the small number of elms remaining. An infected tree’s leaves will begin to turn yellow and drop off in summer months.

Oak Wilt

Oak Wilt is a disease caused by fungus carrying beetles. The disease most likely originated in Latin America, carried to the US by beetles that feed on the sap of oak trees. Confirmed in 56 counties in Michigan, this disease affects all species of oak but kills red oaks much faster than white oaks. You will start to see the leaves turn brown on the tips and work its way down. Eventually, the tree will lose its leaves and die within months. The Michigan DNR recommends not pruning your oaks from April through the end of summer because this is when the tree is most vulnerable.

Needle Blight

Have you noticed your pine trees turning brown, losing needles, or its needles looking abnormally thin? Then you might have needle blight. The fungus mycosphaerella pini causes needle blight and affects over sixty species of pine. The fungus spreads to other branches and trees by rain dripping through infected branches or by physical touch. If you see your pines exhibiting signs of needle blight then prune the infected branches and clean up any needles under the tree, ideally in the fall,  and move them to a safe location where the spores cannot infect other trees.

Take Action

tree removal pruning

After you’ve determined that your tree is infected and dying it is imperative to have that tree safely removed and the wood properly destroyed. Check with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources about transporting infected wood. In some cases, as with infected Elm trees, it is illegal to transport.

Get Professional Tree Removal Help

If you need a tree removed or pruned don’t wait until it’s too late! Contact us about our professional tree removal and pruning services at PPM or call us at, (877) 454-8733.

Fall Prep: Five Steps To Get Your Trees Ready For Winter

Here in Michigan, every changing season means shifting our lawn care and maintenance approach. This is especially vital with the trees and ornamental landscapes on our properties. The cooler autumn weather provides the perfect environment to repair any damage our trees incurred over the summer. Fall tree care is important to keep your trees healthy for the tough months ahead.

fall lawn care happy fall tree

 

Fall is a great time for us to get our large plants ready for the long Michigan winter before it arrives. High heat and drought conditions have wreaked havoc on our trees. This, coupled with bug infestations and weeds, may have weakened our tree’s and shrub’s immune systems.  Fall tree care is critical to get our ornamental plantings healthy and prepared to fight off the disease and insects that can attack throughout our coldest weather months.

 

As locals, we know firsthand just how tough our regional winter can be, even before the snow starts flying. Following these few critical fall tree care steps can strengthen your trees, so they are ready for whatever Mother Nature has in store for us this winter:

Mulch

Many people use mulch in the springtime to enhance the look of their decorative landscapes. However, organic mulch can also offer a multitude of benefits in the winter as well. Spread mulch around your trees and shrubs in the fall to help retain water and moderate extreme temperature swings. The mulch can also insulate the tree base to protect roots in harsh weather conditions.

Hydrate

fall lawn care water your plants

You may be surprised to learn that winter droughts are almost as tough on our trees and shrubs as our summer droughts. Occasionally watering your plants (when the soil is not frozen) in the winter can keep them thriving throughout the season.

Wrap The Base

Young trees can easily fall victim to a multitude of threats during the winter. Wrapping the base of these maturing plants can help protect them during the dormant season. Note: it’s important to remember to remove the wrap when spring arrives to ensure the plants are ready to grow again with the warmer weather.

fall lawn care pruning

Prune

The summer season can cause excessive growth that, if left unattended, can cause breakage or even damage our nearby plants. Fall provides an ideal opportunity to prune back overgrowth. This will relieve any unnecessary stress on the trees and stimulate future healthy growth.

Plant Now

Yes, really. Many home and business owners focus all of their planting efforts in the springtime. However, the cooler autumn air and growing conditions are ideal for promoting root growth in newly planted shrubs and trees.

Are Your Trees Ready For The Michigan Winter?

At PPM, we specialize in a full suite of maintenance solutions to keep your trees and shrubs thriving all year. Our onsite certified arborist creates innovative strategies that fortify your ornamental landscapes, keeping them healthy during the dormant seasons and ready to flourish in spring in summer. Contact us today to hear more!

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