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Common Diseases of Oak Trees in Michigan

Oak trees are one of the most majestic trees in Michigan. These sentinel trees can live for centuries, providing shade, clean air, and can even increase the value of your yard. As indestructible as these trees may seem, they can also catch deadly diseases that can bring them down. Here is a list of some common oak tree diseases and one that may be on its way.oak leaves

 

Oak Leaf Blister

Oak leaf blister is a foliar fungal disease caused by the fungus Taphrina caerulescens. It appears as round, bumpy areas up to 2 inches in diameter and covers the upper leaf surface. The fungus is most active in cool, wet springs and can affect almost every oak tree species, but the red oak is particularly vulnerable to this disease. Leaves with too many spots may drop prematurely. 

 

Bur Oak Blight 

Bur oak blight is a slow creeping fungus that affects only the bur oak tree. It remains on leaves that still cling to the trees throughout the winter until the wet, warm weather helps the disease spread to other leaves. Symptoms become apparent in July and August. The infection slowly weakens the tree over the years and makes it susceptible to other tree diseases.

Symptoms of bur oak blight include:

  • Black leaf veins
  • Triangle shaped lesions
  • Leaf drop
  • Leaves remaining on tree over winter

Oak Wilt

Oak wilt is one of the deadliest diseases for red and white oaks in Michigan. It is caused by a fungus imported from Latin America and is carried by beetles that feed on the sap. Like the other oak wiltdeadly tree disease, Dutch elm disease, the fungus disrupts the trees’ vascular system, causing them to wilt and die. A mature oak can succumb to oak wilt in as little as three weeks.

Symptoms include

  • Lead wilt from the crown on down
  • Browning on tips of leaves
  • Rapid defoliation

Anthracnose

Anthracnose is a foliar disease and a very common disease among oaks in Michigan. The fungus causes the browning of leaves from the veins outward. Anthracnose affects oaks in the spring and appears to prefer white oaks and red oaks. Affected leaves will drop off, leaving the tree looking sickly. The tree will use more energy to try and regrow more leaves, but as the infection continues, it takes more and more energy for the tree to keep up. The tree then becomes vulnerable to other diseases. Severely infected trees can be treated with an injection in the fall or sprayed in the spring to help control this disease.

 

Sudden Oak Death

Sudden oak death is caused by a soil-borne fungal disease called Phytophthora ramorum. It can infect over 100 species of plants but is especially deadly in oak trees. Infected oaks can succumb to sudden oak death very quickly. The disease causes bleeding cankers of sap that can attract pests.

Although sudden oak death hasn’t been found in Michigan yet, it can be transported in infected soil and plant materials. Stiff regulations on the transportation of infected wood have prevented the rapid spread of the disease, but if we look at other tree pests and diseases, we will learn that it is not a matter of “if” it comes here, it’s a matter of “when”.

 

Your Trusted Tree Service

When trees die, they can pose serious risks to people and property. Cutting down a tree can also be extremely dangerous with mature trees. That’s why you should always hire the professionals at PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care. We have years of experience pruning, cabling, and removing dangerous trees.

Give us a call at (877) 454-8733 or request a quote here. Hear about the latest news and offers from PPM by following us on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to check out the monthly PPM Tree blog for all your tree care tips and tricks.

The Best Maple Trees for Michigan Yards

Maple trees are among the most common types of native trees found in Michigan and the most common tree to plant in Michigan yards. Maple trees are more than a source of maple syrup. Their lush and thick canopies provide unparalleled levels of shade from the summer heat. Their branches are attractive homes for Robins and other birds. When fall comes, maple trees are the stars of the show. Maple forests make up a large portion of Michigan’s trees. They put on such a spectacle of red, yellow, and orange in the fall they attract visitors from all over the country. If you are considering which type of tree to plant in your yard, maple should be at the top of the list.

 

Where Do Maple Trees Grow?

New homeowners planning their landscaping should consider carefully which types of trees grow well in their area. But if you live in Michigan, maples are everywhere. They are a very versatile tree that grows throughout most of the United States. Because of our cooler, northern climate, Michigan is an ideal habitat for maples trees to grow naturally. These hardy trees are one of the easiest trees to take care of in Michigan, which is why making them a part of your landscape is a must.

 

Silver MapleSilver Maple Tree

Silver maples are a great fast-growing tree for Michigan landscapes. These trees can recover quickly from wind damage and do great in poor soils. They should be planted in an area with plenty of direct sunlight. One silver maple can reach heights of 50 to 70 feet tall and get 30 to 45 feet wide, providing plenty of shade for a deck or patio. Silver maples are identified by their five-pointed leaves and white undersides that seem to shine in the wind.

 

Sugar Maple

The sugar maple is probably the most popular maple tree found throughout Michigan yards. That’s because just one of these impressive giants can make a huge statement in your landscape. Sugar maples are known for their delicious syrup, but these mighty trees can make a huge statement when planted in front or behind your home. These trees can grow to heights of 60 to 75 feet with a 40 to 50-foot spread in less than 20 years. That’s a lot of shade! Like most maples, sugar maples draw the eye all year long, especially in the fall when these mighty trees put on a show like no other.

 

Red MapleRed Maple Tree

Despite its colorful-sounding name, red maples aren’t red year-round like the crimson maple. They have a neat shape and smaller leaves than other maples. They can grow up to 70 feet tall and provide 30 to 50 feet of cooling shade in the summer. In the spring, small pink flowers bloom for a short time attracting pollinators. In the fall, the leaves turn a brilliant shade of red that is sure to light up your landscape.

 

Make PPM Your Trusted Tree Service

If you are looking to improve your landscape with new trees, call the tree care experts at PPM Tree Service and Arbor Care. We can plant your trees for you and make sure they grow straight and healthy. We have years of experience pruning, cabling, and removing dangerous trees.

Give us a call at (877) 454-8733 or request a quote here. Hear about the latest news and offers from PPM by following us on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to check out the monthly PPM Tree blog for all your tree care tips and tricks.

The Best Evergreens To Beautify Your Michigan Landscapes

Trees are a staple to yards in Michigan, and one of the most popular types of trees to plant are evergreens. Why? Because they are so easy to take care of and, most importantly, no leaves to rake up in the fall. Evergreens can provide year-round beauty and privacy as well as attracting wildlife. Here is a list of the best evergreens to beautify your Michigan landscapes

Blue Spruceblue spruce

Blue spruce is native to the Colorado mountains region, but it has become a favorite tree in Michigan over the years. Their thick full form provides an ideal shape that can be used for privacy fences, sound barriers, and windbreakers. They retain their beauty year-round and can make your landscapes pop in the winter. Blue spruce make excellent nesting places for robins, chickadees and other birds. As beautiful as they are, blue spruces are not native to Michigan and are susceptible to certain diseases that have begun to plague spruce trees throughout the state. 

Jack Pine

Jack pine is a valuable timber tree in Michigan and Canada. It ranges from 30-72 feet in height and does not usually grow perfectly straight like it’s cousins. Most importantly, it’s the preferred nesting ground for the endangered Kirtland’s warbler. These birds require trees ranging from five to 20 feet tall and nest in forests larger than 80 acres.

Black Spruce

The black spruce is a small, slow-growing, narrow evergreen tree with a spire-like crown. It’s branches droop downward to sweep the ground, making it an ideal Christmas tree. It is an excellent choice for cold northern climates, and it is tolerant of wet sites. It makes an excellent home for birds such as robins and a warm place to roost for overwintering birds.

Scotch Pinescotch pine

The Scotch Pine or Scots pine is a native to Europe and Asia. It was brought to America at the turn of the last century and was a popular tree for farmers to plant on their property. It has thick, dark grey-brown bark that turns reddish-orange as the tree gets older. Its needles are a greenish-blue and have excellent retention, making them a popular Christmas tree in Michigan. Birds and other wildlife are attracted to the seeds, and it is a favorite nesting spot for owls.

Eastern White Pine

For those of you up on your Michigan facts, the eastern white pine is the state tree of the Wolverine State. These are hardy trees that can grow 50 to 80 feet in height with a spread of 20 to 40 feet across. Its grand appearance may be why Native Americans referred to this tree as the “Tree of Peace.” As it matures, it loses its bottom branches, making it a great shade tree. When they are younger, they make Ideal privacy screens or windbreaks. The eastern white pine prefers moist, well-drained soils. Mature trees are usually 200 to 250 years old, and some can live for over 500 years. This is definitely a tree that you can invest in your property and know that it will be around for generations.

Call The Tree Removal Experts

Trees are great additions to our landscape, but sometimes they can become a problem. Diseased trees can infect and kill neighboring trees, while dead trees pose threats to property and people. When you need to remove a tree call the experts at PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care

Give us a call at (877) 454-8733 or request a quote here. Hear about the latest news and offers from PPM by following us on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to check out the monthly PPM Tree blog for all your tree care tips and tricks.

Tree Scale: What Is It and How Do You Treat It?

As we try to protect our trees from damaging insects, there is one group of insects that usually gets overlooked. Scales or tree scales are tiny insects that feed on the sap of trees and plants. Depending on the species, scales can cause a lot of damage to Michigan trees and fruit trees.

 

As the insects feed, their piercing mouthparts inject a toxin into the plant as it feeds, causing yellowing of tissue, reduced growth, and branch dieback. Soft scale insects secrete a waste called honeydew, which can attract bees, wasps, ants, and flies. Honeydew can also be the host of fungus called black sooty mold, which can make your trees look attractive. Although sooty mold is harmless if there is enough present, it could shade out sunlight and stunt the tree’s growth. 

 

There are two types of scale insects: armored scales and soft scales.

 

Tree scale insects on a branch

Soft Scale Insects

  • Produce honeydew, a sugary liquid waste product
  • Tend to be bigger than their armored counterparts
  • Shaped like rounded bumps
  • Secrete a waxy substance over their bodies for protection

Armored Scale Insects

  • Don’t produce honeydew
  • Smaller, fatter, rounder than soft scale insects
  • Have a hard shell to protect them

Types of Scale Found In MichiganRed apples growing on a tree

Tree scale is a particular problem in Michigan because of our fruit trees. One of those is the nasty San Jose Scale. San Jose Scale feeds on a variety of our beloved fruit trees, including pear, apple, plum, and peaches. Young trees are the most vulnerable and can be killed in just a few years. San Jose scales can also feed on the fruit and leaves of the trees, causing bright red spots and reduced yield.

 

Signs of Tree Scale

Infestations can weaken host trees or even kill the tree if it is bad enough. Damage to an infected tree can include:

  • Yellowing leaves
  • Tiny bumps covering branches (insects)
  • Slower growth
  • Premature leaf drop
  • Branch dieback

Treating Tree Scale

Scales have a unique life cycle that makes them rather hard to control. When temperatures warm up in the spring, overwintering scales emerge from a protective wax covering and mate. Unlike other insects, female scales give birth to live young instead of laying eggs. She can give birth to 150-500 crawlers during the season. Crawlers are so named because they are born with six legs and spend their time crawling around the tree and feeding on the sap. After three weeks, the crawlers molt and lose their legs and antennas to become armored adults.

 

Management of tree scale is tricky and varies from species to species. As we mentioned above, these insects have either a protective wax coating or a hard shell, making controlling these insects difficult. Dormant oils are moderately effective on overwintering soft scale species but need to be applied in early spring before trees come out of dormancy. They are even less effective on armored scale species. Natural enemies, such as birds, wasps, flies, and beetles, feed on adults, as well as crawlers. 

 

The trick to controlling tree scale is to know when they are at their most vulnerable, which is the crawler stage. Properly timed insecticide sprays can help manage tree scale by killing the young crawlers. Unfortunately, the adults are well protected against chemical attacks.

 

Your Trusted Tree Service

Keeping your trees protected from tree scales can keep them strong and healthy, but sometimes infestations are just too much for the tree. When trees die, it is usually from diseases or infestations. The most responsible thing to do in these instances is to remove the tree to prevent it from spreading to others.

 

At PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care, we offer tree trimming, pruning, and removal services.

 

Give us a call at (877) 454-8733 or request a quote here. Hear about the latest news and offers from PPM by following us on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to check out the monthly PPM Tree blog for all your tree care tips and tricks.

Be On The Lookout For These Michigan Tree Diseases

As Michiganders, we take great pride in our trees. It’s no wonder people from other states flock to the mitten in the fall to witness the change of seasons. In our yards, trees are a promontory feature that help make our house feel like a home, which is why you should take tree diseases very seriously. Tree diseases are hard to spot and some can take years to begin to show symptoms but if they aren’t treated in time the entire tree could be lost. Check out this list of common and deadly tree diseases found in Michigan.tree cankers

Tree Cankers

Tree cankers are caused by a fungus that infects wounded or stressed trees. Symptoms include, oozing sap, discoloration, sunken areas. Keep your trees healthy and stress free to reduce the chances of tree cankers. If your trees have cankers, the infected areas should be pruned. Do not prune during wet or humid weather as this can spread the fungus to other branches or trees. Always sterilize your equipment after use.

Oak Wilt

Oak trees are known for their strength and durability but even mighty oaks are vulnerable to tree diseases. Oak wilt is caused by a fungus that hitches a ride on sap feeding beetles. These beetles are attracted to the sweet sap that leaks out of wounds in oak trees which is why it is vital that you prune only when the tree is dormant in early spring or late fall. Oak wilt is a fast moving lethal fungus that can kill a red oak in 4 to 6 weeks and white oaks in 1 to 6 months.Anthracnose on the leaves of a tree

Anthracnose

Anthracnose is one of the most common tree diseases in Michigan and can infect oak, maple, ash, sycamore, and many other species. The fungus creates dead spots on leaves that disrupts the photosynthesis process. This can lead to early defoliation which can stress the tree and make it vulnerable to other diseases. Anthracnose continues to spread each year and can severely damage or stunt the growth of the tree. Signs of anthracnose can be seen In the late fall and early spring as black bumps on leaves. Spores release and are dispersed by wind or rain to other branches and nearby trees.

 

Needle Cast

Another tree disease common in Michigan is the Rhizosphaera Needle Cast. Needle cast is a foliage disease that affects spruce trees. The blue spruce is not native to Michigan which makes it susceptible to diseases outside of their habitat. The most obvious symptom of needle cast is branch dieback. It begins in the inner lower branches and works its way out to the rest of the tree over the course of several years. As the disease progresses, the tree will look thinner and thinner each year until enough needles are lost and the tree eventually succumbs. To identify needle cast, look for lines of small black dots along the surface of the needles. Fungicides may be effective in controlling the disease but the best option is to remove all infected trees before it spreads.

Call The Tree Removal Experts

Trust your trees with PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care. We offer many tree services like planting, trimming, pruning, tree removal, and stump grinding. You can’t go wrong with tree care services from PPM.

 

Give us a call at (877) 454-8733 or request a quote here. Hear about the latest news and offers from PPM by following us on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to check out the monthly PPM Tree blog for all your tree care tips and tricks

Protect Your Trees From Damaging Insects

Michigan is well known for its forests and wide variety of trees. As part of our landscapes, trees are the centerpieces. They not only add beauty and shade but they provide enjoyment for generations to come if they are cared for properly. Unfortunately, there are a host of tiny insects that can fell even the mightiest of oaks. 

 

In large numbers, insects can cause a lot of damage to your trees and in some cases, even kill them. It is vital as a homeowner to be on the lookout for any damage on your trees that are caused by pests. Only with early detection can you limit the damage done to your trees. Tent caterpillar

Tent Caterpillars

Everyone has seen those silk webs in the tops of trees. Sometimes trees can be completely covered in them. These are the webs of tent caterpillars. These aggressive caterpillars have an insatiable appetite for leaves and if there are enough of them, they can severely damage a tree and affect its growth. You can simply prune away the affected branches if they are within reach. For higher branches, call a professional arborist. No matter how tempting it may be, do not use fire to burn tent caterpillars. It will kill the branch and affect its growth.

Gypsy Moths

Gypst moths are the locusts of lower Michigan. The caterpillars can strip a tree of it’s foliage, making it vulnerable to pests and the diseases they carry. The gypsy moth population was brought under control in the 90s by the introduction of a fungus but in recent years the dry springs have prevented the fungus from spreading, giving gypsy moths a chance to make a comeback.Carpenter ants

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants, as their name suggests, love wood. They usually make their homes in trees and dead logs. Contrary to popular belief, carpenter ants do not eat wood. Instead they remove wood as they carve tunnels and galleries for their nests. Their primary food sources are living and dead insects. As they tunnel through dead parts of the tree they can damage wood that is already weak soft which can compromise the strength of large branches. Carpenter ants can be treated with simple pesticides applied to the base of the tree.

Emerald Ash Borer

The emerald ash borer has been Michigan’s public enemy number one for many years. First noticed in 2002, this invasive species is responsible for the deaths of over 30 million ash trees in southwestern Michigan and has decimated the ash population in The United States. This is why the USDA has issued rules that ban the transportation of firewood across state lines. You can visit this website to see an interactive map of where the emerald ash borer has been detected.

Asian Longhorned Beetle

Asian longhorned beetles are a new threat in Michigan. They do not discriminate when it comes to feeding on trees. Adults are mostly active in later summer to early fall when they start to drill through trees to create chambers. Over the course of several years, the damage can become too much for the tree and it will defoliate and die. Asian longhorned beetles do not move long distances and are spread by the transport of firewood. The only sure-fire way to prevent these invasive pests from killing more trees is to remove infected trees and destroy the wood as soon as possible.

Your Tree Removal Service

Whether you are planting or removing you can trust your trees with PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care. We offer many tree services like planting, trimming, pruning, tree removal, and stump grinding. You can’t go wrong with tree care services from PPM.

Give us a call at (877) 454-8733 or request a quote here. Hear about the latest news and offers from PPM by following us on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to check out the monthly PPM Tree blog for all your tree care tips and tricks

Beautiful Flowering Trees to Add to Your Michigan Lawn This Spring

Nothing says spring quite like the sight of a beautiful flowering tree here in Michigan. The lovely colors and heavenly smells attract pollinators from all over, turning your lawn into a thriving ecosystem. Planting a flowering tree or two in your lawn is a surefire way to boost your home’s curb appeal and spring just happens to be the best time of the year to plant a tree in Michigan. Here are a few of the most beautiful flowering trees to add to your Michigan lawn this spring.

Best Shade Trees in Michigan: A Spring Tree Planting Guide

With spring fast approaching, we’re coming up on the best time of the year to plant trees in Michigan. Now is an excellent time to start planning which trees will best suit your lawn. One of the best types of trees to add to your Michigan property are shade trees. A shade tree is a quick-growing tree with a large canopy, offering excellent shade throughout the year. Here are a few of the best shade trees in Michigan.

Tree Planting in the Spring: Why Spring is One of the Best Times to Plant a Tree

People are always asking, when is the best time to plant a tree in Michigan? For our particular state, with its particular environment and climate, we believe that spring could be the best time to plant a tree in Michigan. Here are a few reasons why and a few tips to help you plant your tree this spring.

What’s the Difference Between Tree Trimming and Tree Pruning

Let’s face it, sometimes, our trees need a little help. Whether it be lopsided growth, dead branches, disease, or a dangerously growing branch, there are a few ways we can help our trees. Properly maintaining your tree helps it grow strong and stay beautiful, benefitting both your tree and your curb appeal. Trimming and pruning are two very important pieces to the tree care puzzle. Though they may seem similar, there are many differences between tree trimming and tree pruning. When done correctly, these two essential tree care services benefit the tree in many different ways. Understanding the difference between tree trimming and tree pruning will help you decide which service is right for you and right for your tree.
 

Tree Trimming

Knowing the difference between tree trimming and tree pruning helps you choose the right service, tree trimming for this smart homeowner.
When we’re talking about broad measures to protect a tree, that’s tree trimming. Tree trimming is the process of removing dead or dying branches that are causing harm to the tree or are a possible danger. Trimming your tree can be an emergency service if a branch has been damaged in a storm or it could be an aesthetic choice to lift your canopy and get more use out of your lawn.
 

    Benefits of tree trimming include:

  • Better Tree Health: Trimming away diseased, dying, or dead branches lets the tree send resources to other parts of the tree, encouraging healthy new growth. It also allows better air circulation through the branches and allows light to reach young, interior branches.
  • A Safer Tree: A tree with dead or damaged branches can be a hazard. These branches can fall on your home, your car, or even you! Trimming away these big, hazardous branches saves you from a hefty bill or worse. It’s good to be proactive about the safety of your tree. Watch for branches that overhang your house or driveway and check for any branches that are growing close to powerlines. Make sure you always trust a professional with your tree trimming.

 

Tree Pruning

Tree pruning is a precise tree service done to boost the health and growth of your beautiful Michigan tree.
Tree pruning is a much more precise service. Pruning helps promote healthy growth by removing diseased or unnecessary branches. Typically, when pruning, you use a smaller, more precise hand tool. This allows you to have more control over the overall look of your tree.
 
Pruning is best done in the winter. When the tree goes dormant and loses its leaves, it’s much easier to find the branches that need to be removed. Pruning your tree in the late winter encourages fast, healthy growth in the spring. The tree will have better air circulation and more space to fill in. Pruning in the winter is also a good tree disease control and pest control. The diseases and pests go dormant with the tree, so you can easily remove those diseased and infested branches without the risk of spreading the disease. Just make sure to wash your tools before using them on another tree and properly remove the diseased branches.
 

    Common Diseases Removed by Proper Pruning Include:

  • Oak wilt
  • Dutch elm disease
  • Fire blight

 

Trust the Trimming and Pruning to the Pros at PPM

The best way to help your tree is by trusting the professionals. Here at PPM, we know the difference between tree trimming and tree pruning, and we’ve heard we’re pretty good at both. Trust the trimming and pruning to the professionals at PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care.
 
For more information on how we can start protecting your trees, give us a call at (877) 454-8733. You can also request a quick quote here. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you can be the first to know about our special offers. Don’t forget to check out our blog for the best tree care tips around.

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