Spruce Up Your Trees This Spring with Advice from World-renowned, Certified Arborist
International Tree Climbing Champion Mark Chisholm and STIHL Make Tree Tips Easy
Anita Gambill (757) 486-9151
Each year, new threats to landscaping are born and old threats get beaten down or dwindle off. Be sure to check with local experts, such as a local extension agent at an agricultural college or university or an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist, an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist, or a Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) certified tree care company to see what threats are looming in your geographical region. For example, the Asian Long-horned Beetle (ALB) or Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) have already killed millions of trees in the U.S. since they were discovered. Learning what to look for may not only save your local trees, but may positively impact your neighborhood, state and beyond.
MIND YOUR MULCH
Trees and landscape beds respond well to being mulched. Remove competing grass away from the trunks of trees and plants to help them flourish. Just remember that more mulch is not better. Keep mulch thickness down to just a few inches and pull it back near the trunk to avoid contact, because if mulch is piled around the trunk, it holds moisture and heat. This can cause developments of cankers and other ailments. It also encourages a secondary roots system to develop above the primary one, which could include girdling roots. If the trees in your landscape are susceptible to certain fungal problems (such as dogwood or sycamore anthracnose and pines affected by diplodia tip blight), removing leaf and needle debris will help reduce this effect.
The best time to prune trees and shrubs varies depending upon species and desired results. Pruning during the “dormant season,” or when the trees have no leaves, is usually best. This is the time to prune young trees for future structure, remove live limbs that are too low or close to the house, and remove limbs that might have been damaged in winter storms. Keep in mind, though, that dead and damaged limbs can be pruned any time throughout the year.
Now is the time to make any necessary changes to your sprinkler system. Watch to see if there is any water pooling around trees and provide a remedy if there is. Ensure that plants prone to fungal problems are not sprayed directly with sprinklers, which could result in a severe issue if left as is. For example, if your sprinklers are spraying the foliage of a dogwood tree, it may be more likely to host powdery mildew and anthracnose. A mugo pine battling with diplodia tip blight will have more trouble defending itself with the extra watering. Be sure to look into the needs of each species within the sprinkler’s reach.
SAMPLE THE SOIL
A soil sample can alert you to any nutrient deficiencies in your trees. Have a specialist come out and take a sample before you start a fertilization program of any kind. Prescription programs are much more precise than blanket programs, and they can help you to save money if fertilizer and additives are not needed.
For more information on Chisholm, visit stihlusa.com/events.html. For more information on how to find a certified arborist or tree care company and other tree tips, visit the ISA website http://www.treesaregood.orgor TCIA website, www.treecaretips.org.
About STIHL Inc.
STIHL Inc. manufactures the number one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America for homeowners and professional landscapers*, as well as the number one selling brand of chainsaws in the world. STIHL products are sold through servicing power equipment retailers from coast to coast – not mass merchants. STIHL products sold through U.S. STIHL dealers are for distribution in the United States only. For more information or for the name of a local STIHL retailer, call toll free 1-800-GO STIHL (1-800-467-8445) or visit the dealer locator on the STIHL website at www.stihlusa.com.
*"Number one selling brand" is based on syndicated Irwin Broh Research (commercial landscapers) as well as independent consumer research of 2010 U.S. sales and market share data for the gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment category combined sales to consumers and commercial landscapers.
STIHL is pleased to support the work of Independent We Stand, the Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund), International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), National FFA, Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), and the National Association of State Park Directors.
About Mark Chisholm
One part acrobat, one part expert rope climber, one part tree physiologist, and several parts competitor and thrill seeker, Mark Chisholm is a third-generation arborist with his family-owned Aspen Tree Expert Company in New Jersey. His expertise in tree care has made him a sought after consultant and industry spokesperson for the world of arboriculture, and he regularly travels the globe to consult with international arborist organizations.
Sponsored by STIHL, Chisholm has won every International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) New Jersey Chapter Tree Climbing Championship for the last 18 years and has conquered the wider tree-climbing world on three occasions, most recently in 2010, when he won his third ISA International Tree Climbing Championship. He will compete for the 2011 New Jersey Tree Climbing Champion title in June. Chisholm currently holds the world record in the 50-foot secured footlock climbing event, with a time of 13.8 seconds.