Powdery Mildew: What You Need to Know About this Pervasive Tree Disease

Powdery Mildew: What You Need to Know

Trees are susceptible to disease just like people. One prevalent disease is powdery mildew. Here’s some important information about this fungal infection and how it can ravage trees and shrubs. Prevention is possible with proper tree care.

What Is Powdery Mildew?

Powdery mildew is a disease that causes white splotches to appear on leaf and stem surfaces. The splotches resemble white powder, hence the name. The disease thrives in high-humidity climates. While rarely fatal, powdery mildew can cause nutrients to leech from the surface of plant, leading to withering and discoloration. Tree removal due to powdery mildew is uncommon. However, the white powdery-like substance is a sign of ill health.

Fruit trees are especially vulnerable, as are flowers like roses, begonias, and chrysanthemums. 

Signs of Powdery Mildew

As mentioned, the most obvious sign is a powder-like substance. However, other signs may also manifest, such as:

  • Yellowish and brownish leaves
  • Shriveled leaves or leaf lesions
  • Leaves curling at the edges
  • Blistering on leaves and flowers or chlorotic spots
  • Fruits and flowers that appear malformed

How to Prevent Powdery Mildew

Use a fungicide spray. We suggest a solution consisting of sulfur, potassium bicarbonate, and neem oil. You should also remove all infected parts of the plant. Dispose of infected leaves accordingly and do not compost them.

Regular pruning is also necessary to prevent overcrowding. When portions of the plant/tree begin bunching up, it reduces air circulation and increases humidity. Another little-known solution is milk. most people aren’t aware that milk has anti-fungal properties. Spray milk on the infected areas to kill the fungi and spores.

We Cure and Prevent Powdery Mildew

Signs of powdery mildew do not require immediate emergency service. However, we do recommend professional attention. Call Pro-Cut Tree Service if you spot signs of this fungal disease. Powdery mildew is a common disease that can gradually decrease tree health.

Tree Disease Prevention

Serving customers in Lake Stevens, Edmonds, Marysville, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Everett, Snohomish and the surrounding area

Tree Removal Vs Tree Crown Restoration: Which Is the Better Option?

tree crown, tree removal, tree crown restoration

Homeowners often call for emergency tree service after a storm to remove a fallen tree. However, depending on the extent of damage, not every damaged tree needs to be removed. You may be able to salvage it via a tree crown restoration.

The Truth About Tree Removal

Many homeowners elect to remove a tree after a storm if it sustained minimal damage. The reason is that they fear a future storm could completely knock the tree down and cause significant property damage. However, an assessment from a tree care service usually reveals that removal is unnecessary. 

What Is a Tree Crown Restoration?

In a tree crown restoration, the damaged tree is pruned of loose and partially broken branches. This restores the crown to a more robust and solid structure. Proper pruning helps the tree recover and fosters new growth. The main goal of a crown restoration is to reduce the number of exposed branches because these leave a tree vulnerable to infection or stunted growth. 

With proper pruning, branches can regrow and be less susceptible to breakage in the future. Crown restoration is also done in cases where a tree was previously damaged by improper pruning.

When Is a Crown Restoration Possible?

An inspection can determine when a tree is salvageable and when tree removal is the only recourse. An arborist will examine the following factors to determine a tree’s viability for a restoration:

  • Existing defects that may influence future limb failure
  • The tree’s vigor in relation to its age
  • The species of the tree. Some species are more easily damaged by extreme weather. Soft maple trees, for example, are especially prone to storm damage.

We Restore and Remove Trees

Did a storm just pass by your city? Call Pro-Cut Tree Service to arrange for a professional to examine your tree and its post-storm condition. We will assess the tree’s health and determine whether a tree crown restoration is a realistic option.

Tree Crown Restoration and Removal

Serving customers in Lake Stevens, Edmonds, Marysville, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Everett, Snohomish and the surrounding area

The Effects of Flooding on a Tree

tree flooding

The Lake Stevens area receives a fair amount of rain. Sometimes, this results in flooding and puddling water. This can be detrimental for a tree if you happen to have one on your property. The effects of flooding on a tree are serious and can lead to a plethora of problems.

How Floods Harm Trees

When soil is flooded, its nitrogen levels diminish drastically. Contrary to belief, this isn’t because the nitrogen gets washed out. What really happens is that in a flood, the tree roots can’t take in oxygen. When this occurs, the tree turns to a survival mechanism where it begins taking in nitrogen from the soil. A tree in survival mode can consume all of the nitrogen in the soil around it within an hour or two.

What Does This Mean Long-Term?

Since the tree sucked up all the nitrogen, it has none left for later use. A lack of nitrogen can lead to discolored leaves, low chlorophyll production, stunted growth, and eventually death. In fact, we often find ourselves removing trees—both residential and public—not long after a flood. For trees that produce fruit and/or flowers, expect poor production.

Prevention Measures

You can’t stop a flood, but you can protect your tree from one. We recommend hiring professional tree care because the work requires commercial equipment. An arborist can pump nitrogen and other nutrients into the soil at high pressure using a spray rig. This method is known as deep root fertilization. This method also expands the soil, thereby allowing it to absorb more oxygen after a flood.

We Reverse the Effects of Flooding on Trees

Our emergency tree care can respond after harsh weather that results in flash flooding. Call Pro-Cut Tree Service if water is pooling around your tree. The effects of flooding on a tree can be devastating; take action to keep the tree healthy.

Tree Preservation and Preventive Care

Serving customers in Lake Stevens, Edmonds, Marysville, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Everett, Snohomish and the surrounding area

Plant a Tree This Arbor Day

plant a tree, Arbor Day

Arbor Day is at the end of April. This is a vastly overlooked holiday that flies under most people’s radar. To celebrate this day, we suggest that homeowners, schools, and landowners plant a tree on their property. Not only will you boost curb appeal this way, but you’ll also help out the environment.

How Trees Help the Environment

Let’s look at the ways that trees contribute to mother nature. First, the soil absorbs water and reduces severity of floods during heavy rainfall. They also cool the earth by filtering carbon dioxide from the air. CO2 and other greenhouse gas removal is especially beneficial in urban areas like Snohomish County.

Here are some other fun facts. A single adult canopy tree can produce enough oxygen to sustain two human adults. An entire forest of trees can store three times the amount of CO2 contained in the planet’s atmosphere.

Sad but True Facts

The planet needs more trees. Since the dawn of civilization, humans have already decimated roughly half of the tree population. Every year, humans cut down about 50,000 square miles of trees. For reference, that is enough trees to cover the entire state of Alabama.

Also Be Sure to Remove Trees

Instances do exist, though, when a tree needs to be cut down. Just because a tree is beneficial doesn’t mean you should keep a tree that’s no longer structurally sound. A dead tree has none of the aforementioned environmental benefits. Remove the tree and prepare the way for a new sapling in its spot. Our emergency tree service can remove trees that are dead, dying, or damaged from a storm.

We Can Help You Plant a Tree

Contact Pro-Cut Tree Service this Arbor Day to plant a tree. Our tree care service can help you maintain the tree from sapling to adult. Plant a tree and contribute to our one and only planet, Earth.

Tree Planting and Maintenance

Serving customers in Lake Stevens, Edmonds, Marysville, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Everett, Snohomish and the surrounding area

Four Trees Not to Select or Plant on Your Property

trees not to plant, bad trees, select treesKick off spring with some beautiful new shrubbery. Some homeowners go a step further by planting a tree or by removing a tree to clear room for a new one. You should, however, be careful about your choice. We outline some trees not to select or plant due to maintenance difficulties.

1. Black Walnut

Black walnuts are extremely problematic. Their roots produce a chemical that prevents vegetation growth in the surrounding soil. On top of that, the tree also produces tennis ball-sized fruit shells. Discarding these is a nuisance.

2. Bradford Pear

The Bradford Pear is renowned for its beautiful white flowers in spring. However, the flowers are also notorious for producing an unpleasant fish-like odor. The flowers also release rapidly and leave a mess all over your yard. In addition, the tree is known to split at the trunk for no reason. Continue Reading →

Protect Your Tree from Salt Damage

tree salt damageWe bet you didn’t know that salt is hazardous for tree health. With winter here, the roads are lined with road salt to improve road traction. Unfortunately, some of it can make its way into your yard. In this article you’ll find out how salt damages a tree and what you can do to minimize the effect.

How Does Salt Damage Trees?

Salt can leach into the soil, which negatively impacts the root’s ability to absorb water, minerals, and other nutrients. Our emergency tree care often goes to trees that show signs of dehydration and malnutrition. We suspect a number of these cases are due in part to salt exposure.

Signs of Salt Damage

  • Browning of leaves and needles
  • Diminished leaf growth the following spring
  • The leaves begin dropping well before fall
  • Twig and leaf dieback, or deterioration starting from the tips
  • All aforementioned signs appear on the side of the tree facing the road

Some or all of these signs are apparent when we remove dead trees. This is evidence that salt exposure has negative consequences.

Trees Vulnerable to Salt Damage

Some tree species are more susceptible than others. These species are especially prone to salt damage:

  • Douglas fir
  • Red and sugar maple
  • Eastern hemlock
  • Boxwood
  • Black walnut

By contrast, the species below exhibit far better tolerance:

  • Mugo pine
  • Juniper
  • Blue spruce
  • Paper birch
  • Northern red oak

Keep this in mind if you’re planning to plant a tree and your property happens to be adjacent to a city street.

For existing trees, apply mulch, which acts as a barrier and prevents the salt from leaching into the soil.

We Safeguard Trees from Salt

Our tree care service takes measures to mitigate the accumulative effects of salt exposure. Give Pro-Cut Tree Service a call if your tree is close to a road. Tree damage from salt is all too commonplace in winter.

Tree Protection from Harsh Natural Elements

Serving customers in Lake Stevens, Edmonds, Marysville, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Everett, Snohomish and the surrounding area

How to Prevent Tree Frost Cracks

frost cracks, tree cracksMost trees are resilient enough to withstand natural elements, including harsh winters. Nevertheless, some trees may experience signs of wear or injury. One common problem during the cold season is frost cracks. Learn what these are and how to recognize them.

What Are Frost Cracks?

Despite its name, a frost crack isn’t actually due to frost. It’s due to exposure to sudden temperature fluctuations. In this sense, winter frost plays a role, though it’s not the sole cause.

Frost cracks are common during cold sunny days. The afternoon sun causes the bark, and the wood underneath it, to expand. When the temperature drops at night, the bark cools and shrinks back down faster than the wood. This causes a vertical crack as the bark splits over the wood that remains expanded.

Implications of Frost Cracks

Frost cracks are rarely detrimental. In most cases, the tree self-heals by forming a scab over the crack. However, larger cracks may expose an opening for boring insects and fungus. While emergency tree service is usually not necessary, homeowners should err on the side of caution and enlist a tree care specialist. An arborist can determine whether remediation is necessary. Continue Reading →

How to Care for a Fir Tree

fir tree, fir tree careThe fir tree is what most people commonly refer to as a Christmas tree. Some homeowners also plant these trees on their property. This gives the home’s exterior a nice alpine look. If you go this route, it’s helpful to know the ins and outs of fir tree care and maintenance.

When to Plant Fir Trees

If planting a bare-root or balled fir tree, start in fall or winter. Before planting, rehydrate the tree for several hours by soaking the base of the trunk in a bucket of water.

If planting a container-grown fir tree, then you can plant anytime of the year. However, we advise against doing so during periods of excessive heat or drought. Unsurprisingly, we remove dead trees a lot more often during dry spells. Also, choose to plant in an area with adequate shade and away from direct sunlight. Continue Reading →

What Causes Holes in Tree Trunks?

tree trunk holesSome homeowners report small holes on one of their trees. These occurs especially on the trunk and extend past the layer of bark. What causes these tree trunk holes? Does an emergency tree service crew need to take a look? The holes can be attributed to a number of causes. You can determine the likely culprit by looking at the size and patterns of the holes.

Boring Insects

If the hole is small, about the diameter of a spaghetti noodle, then you probably have a problem with boring beetles. The Lake Stevens area is home to dozens of boring insect species that bore into trees to lay eggs. Beetles look for weaker trees to bore into. This is potentially a sign that your tree is undergoing stress. This may be from improper pruning, watering, etc. Bring in a tree care service for inspection.

Woodpeckers

If you see multiple holes close together, then this may be the cause of pecking from the yellow-bellied woodpecker. The bird pecks for the tree’s sugary sap and boring insects. You can dissuade woodpeckers by wrapping the trunk in burlap. Continue Reading →

Fall Tree Care: DIY Autumn Maintenance Tips

fall tree careThe blazing hot weather has come and gone. Now, the tree has to prepare itself for the impending winter cole. While trees are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, you can help to minimize the stress. These DIY fall tree care tips will ensure a seamless transition as the tree transitions through the changing seasons.

1. Don’t Be Conservative with the Mulch

While we provide mulch as part of our tree care service, homeowners can do this themselves. Mulch helps the roots retain water; it also shields it from temperature extremes. Think of mulch as insulation or a blanket for added protection.

See our post on tree mulching for the “how” and “what” of mulching.

2. Wrap the Tree

For younger and recently-planted trees, wrap the base of the trunk with burlap or paper wrap. While fall is known for mild weather, it’s still subject to temperature extremes. Wrapping the tree protects it from sunscald and frost cracking. Keep the wrap on until the beginning of spring. Continue Reading →