No Two Tree Types Need the Same Care
Expert tree care is a partnership.
From the sweetgum to the redbud, the trees of Missouri are one of the things that make our area beautiful. Arborists and community members can work together to preserve the happiness and longevity of these living things.
Expert Tree Care Tips For All Trees
It’s always good to start with the basics, right? Here are some general tree care tips.
- An arborist should prune all landscape trees to ensure that they are able to reach their full potential. Improper pruning can hurt a tree. Make sure an expert does the tree’s pruning, and we don’t recommend topping a tree.
- It is best to prune a tree when it is young, approximately 3 to 5 years after planting depending on the variety.
- Proper pruning at the right developmental stage helps develop good structure early and will help improve the overall health of the tree. This reduces corrective trimming later on and minimizes potential risks.
Here are the top five most common trees in Missouri that need to be treated, trimmed, or maintained.
How Do You Take Care of a Maple?
Red maple, Japanese maple, and silver maples are classic icons of trees. But maples need some extra TLC.
For example, girdling roots is one of the problems plaguing maple trees. Luckily, there’s a pretty simple solution: proper planting and root pruning! Proper planting in good soil can prevent this. And a certified arborist knows just how to prune the roots to help your tree keep growing without choking itself.
Girdling roots happen when the tree is planted in poor quality soil or not enough room, forcing the roots to grow in a circle around the tree instead of fanning out.
In time, the tree actually becomes strangled by its own roots. The worst thing is that most homeowners will not know that their maple tree is choking—until it dies at age twenty. So get an expert to examine the tree when it’s young, and if you’re planting it yourself, do a proper soil test before planting.
Maple trees are not the strongest trees. Their branches can break off in high winds and their bark is easily nicked, making them susceptible to diseases and bugs. An arborist can help to structure the growing maple properly by pruning to prevent unbalanced weight. They can also help rid the tree of disease or pests.
Arborists can help to brace or cable your maple, prune the roots so they don’t choke the tree, and prune the tree to help balance the weight of the branches.
Fun Fact: Who doesn’t love a good maple syrup on their French (or ‘Merican) toast. While a silver maple has sweet sap, it’s not as tasty as a regular maple. Also, DIYing the harvesting of sap is almost always a bad idea for the health of your tree. And possibly yourself (one word: diabetes).
Expert Tree Care For The Oak Tree.
Oak is the at the top of everyone’s list for hardwood. It has long been a symbol of strength and durability. But even the mighty oak tree is not impervious to all enemies. Make sure your oak trees get the care they need to remain mighty and strong.
Oak tree fact: Even the mighty oak tree is susceptible to fungus, specifically oak wilt. A certified arborist will only use the best pruning tools and techniques to prevent oak wilt.
When an oak tree gets oak wilt, most will defoliate and die within 3 to 6 months following the initial appearance of symptoms. Oak wilt is spread by insect activity or pruning tools that are not sterilized. Craig’s Tree Service will only use the best pruning tools and techniques to ensure that your tree does not fall victim to oak wilt.
When is the best time to prune an oak tree?
An oak tree should only be pruned while the tree is dormant in the fall or winter months.
What Kind of Care Does an Ash Tree Need?
First of all, did you know ash trees were used to care for humans? The leaves are cited in old pharmaceutical writings for laxative, diuretic, and anti-inflammatory purposes. We’re not making any recommendations to do so (we’re arborists, not doctors), but it’s a fun fact anyway.
The ash tree is at risk to a particular pest—the Emerald Ash Borer. The Emerald Ash Borer is the worst blight of the Ash Tree. A certified arborist can treat your tree for this pesky pest.
The Emerald Ash Borer stowed away in wooden packing crates. It populates unchecked, attacking and killing hundreds of millions of ash trees in North America every year. This pest is probably the distant cousin of Murder Hornets. Both are stowaways and entirely unwelcome.
We recommend clients to be proactive with the care of ash trees in their landscape. All ash trees will die due to this disease if left untreated. We can provide estimates to treat the tree or, if the damage is too far advanced, to complete a removal.
Fun Fact: We couldn’t pick just one fact. So here’s a mess of them.
- Rabbits, cows, and goats eat the leaves and branches of the ash tree, which are sweet.
- The ash tree produces an oil that can be used to treat stomach disorders. Again, we’re arborists, so talk to a medical professional about such a thing before giving it a shot.
- People in certain parts of Britain use the bark of ash trees to treat warts on the skin. We’d like to imagine they have cauldrons.
Caring for Our Favorite Flowering Tree, The Dogwood.
Why is the dogwood tree called a dogwood?
There seem to be many theories and no definite answers here, just a lot of lore and stories.
One of the oldest stories is that the name evolved from an old Celtic word “dag” or “dagga.” This was a useful pointed tool, and if it sounds a little like the word “dagger” to you, it’s probably not a coincidence. The reason this dag or dagga would have been made out of dogwood is, no, not the name (chuckle), but the hardness of the wood. It made a good dagger.
Another theory is that the name came from an old colonial saying, which was that the fruit was edible but “not fit for a dog.” I know, we like the dagger explanation better, too.
At one time, people washed their dogs in the water boiled with dogwood bark, mistakenly thinking that the name meant it was good for dogs! (We’re sure they let the water cool first.)
Dogwood tree branches grow in a way that is both beautiful and often problematic. Most who are fond of the dogwood find the twisting, criss-crossing branches picturesque. The trouble is those beautiful branches can also cause growth and structural problems. A tree needs clearance to grow! A certified arborist will know how to retain the charm and beauty of the dogwood while also ensuring proper growth and strength.
Tree Care Fact: The dogwood tree is prone to structural weakness, but a good arborist can help your tree reach its full potential.
Fun Fact: The dogwood tree is not so great for dogs.
Expert Tree Care For The Redbud Tree.
Have you ever seen a redbud tree in full bloom? If you have, you will likely not forget it.
The redbud likes sunshine and has a low tolerance for water-logged soil. The redbud is fairly hardy and extremely versatile. This makes it suitable for use as both a shrub or a tree.
Tree Care Fact: A variety of fungal diseases cause trouble for the beautiful redbud tree, the most prominent of which is canker disease. Verticillium wilt also plagues the redbud tree.
An arborist should prune weak, lateral branches during the dormant season or after bloom so the tree can grow to be its healthiest, hardiest self.
Craig’s Tree Service can remove cross branches, dead wood, and prune the tree for clearance, as well as treat fungal diseases.
Fun Fact: There are numerous festivals for this native ornamental tree held all over the United States. Some people go to comic cons, others go to tree festivals.
How Do You Properly Care For The Bradford Pear Tree?
If there’s a tree that can be called stubborn and perhaps tenacious, it’s the Bradford pear.
Also called the Callery pear, this ornamental imported tree became widely loved in the ’60s. Americans fell in love with its snowy white blooms and hardy nature.
And Bradford pears are hardy. Maybe a little too hardy. They grow in poor soil, wet or dry soil, alkaline or acidic soil. Even though homeowners, community planners, and nursery owners originally planted them as decorative trees, the formidable tree would not be contained. Birds, who love their sweet fruit, carry the long-lasting seeds to nearly everywhere else. Where do the seeds grow? I think the correct question is, where don’t the seeds grow? Arborists have recently been surprised to find them growing in numerous woodlands across the United States. There they thrive, choking out all other vegetation, suffocating the growth of native trees, and marching across the nation to a forest near you.
Tree Care Fact: Craig’s Tree Service can help you with crown reduction, thinning, or (if you so desire) removal. We recommend removal.
Fun Fact: This invasive species might be the cause of the first Tree Apocalypse. It sounds dramatic, sure, but we arborists take native biodiversity seriously.