Not all bugs are bad for trees. Though, some can kill a considerable number of trees in a quick amount of time.
As tree care professionals that provide tree removal in Rochester, we encounter insects all the time and know the difference between a little bug and one that’s a huge problem.
Which bugs are bad for trees? Here are some you should watch out for in your Rochester outdoor space.
A damaging bug is a gypsy moth. One year, gypsy moths damaged over 12 million acres of hardwood trees. They seem to like oak but will strike most hardwood types. Gypsy moth egg masses are typically found on the branches and trunks of trees. The gypsy moth is most detrimental in the caterpillar stage of its life cycle when it devours hardwood trees’ leaves. Gypsy moth infestations are common in the northeastern part of the U.S.
Carpenter ants don’t eat wood. What they do is clean it out to construct tunnels for nesting sites. In comparison to the gypsy moth, an infestation by carpenter ants expands slowly. Still, they can create widespread damage. They usually nestle in rotting trees while making any structural damage even worse. Because they don’t eat the wood, they can leave a material similar to sawdust called frass behind.
Leaf-feeding aphids are typically not damaging. But, vast populations of these bugs can create stunting of shoots and leaf changes. Aphids also make large quantities of a sticky exudate referred to as honeydew, which frequently turns black with the expansion of mold fungus. Some aphid species insert a toxin into trees which additionally messes up growth.
Balsam Wooly Adelgid
Adelgids are soft-bodied, little aphids that feed solely on coniferous plants thanks to a piercing-sucking mouth. They are an annoying bug and are considered to be of Asian origin. The balsam wooly adelgid and adelgid attack firs and hemlock by eating the sap.
Douglas-Fir Bark Beetle
The Douglas-fir beetle is a dangerous and crucial bug throughout the selection of its principal host, the Douglas-fir. The Western larch is also attacked sometimes. The damage caused by this bug delivers an economic loss if Douglas -fir lumber has been huge in the tree's natural span.
If you believe your trees are infested with bugs, contact a Rochester arborist and arrange a tree inspection.
Have you ever wondered if evergreens ever lose their needles?
Conifers, also known as evergreens, don’t permanently keep their needles. Most types lose their older needles each autumn, presenting the tree with an unhealthy appearance. This is no reason to be alarmed.
Many homeowners have a pine or spruce tree in their outdoor space. These trees are usually called evergreen since they are green. Moreover, they drop their leaves every fall unlike tree types like ash or maple.
Evergreen trees have folks believing that the needles should last forever. This is why some people get upset when they see any needles (leaves) on the tree get brown and fall.
Like any plant, evergreens can die from insects, environmental stresses, and diseases, making needles fall prematurely. The question then is: how can you tell if your needles falling is normal?
Evergreens and Needles: What You Should Know
Though called evergreen by lots of folks, trees with needle-shaped leaves are referred to as conifers. This conifer category includes the following trees: spruce, hemlock, cedar, pine, fir, and others. Several of these tree types keep their needles to stay green all year long.
Although all conifers lose some of their needles every year, most keep their needles through many growing seasons but lose some of their less efficient, older needles every autumn. Before falling, these needles change color from a healthy green to orange, brown-red, yellowish hue based on the tree type.
Early in the shedding routine, when the needles are still on the branches, these trees could have a bad appearance which can generate unwarranted concern. Luckily, needles falling in the autumn from healthy trees should be replenished with new growth next spring.
A solid growing season followed by a couple of moderate growing years will make a more significant percentage of the needles to be lost in some autumn seasons than others. Again, this is no reason to be worried.
If your whole tree or whole sections of evergreens have needles changing color, this could be a reason to be concerned. Schedule a tree inspection with an arborist to find out what’s the problem.
Have you ever thought about the age of that enormous tree in your yard? If you are unsure when your tree was planted, calculate the circumference to approximate its age. While not as precise, measurement estimate is the most straightforward technique to find the age of a tree without cutting. If it’s an evergreen, you can calculate its rows of branches or whorls.
Broadleaf trees develop whorls sporadically so counting them is only applied for evergreens. Counting the rings give the correct estimate, but you don’t want to chop down a healthy tree to establish its age.
As an alternative, count the rings on a living tree, taking a core sample with an increment borer.
Measure the Trunk
Calculate the circumference of the tree at breast height. The average breast height is 4 1⁄2 ft. from the ground. Put a fabric measuring tape around the trunk at this height and mark the tree’s circumference.
If the ground is slanted, measure 4 1⁄2 ft from the ground on the uphill side, note the place then perform the same on the downhill side. The breast height is typically the middle spot between the downhill and uphill measurements.
Find the trunk’s radius and diameter. To get the diameter, use pi or 3.14 to divide the circumference. Next, get the radius by using 2 to divide the diameter.
Subtract anywhere from 1⁄4 to 1 inch for the bark. For tree types with thick bark, subtract 1inch from the measure of the radius. Subtract 1⁄4 inch for trees with thin bark like the birch tree. If you aren’t sure and want to get a ballpark estimate, subtract a 1⁄2 inch from the radius.
Use felled trees to get the measurement of ring width. Look for felled or dead trees of the same type. If you see one with visible rings, count the rings and get the radius. Divide the radius by the number of rings to get the average ring width. If this might be a bit much for you or math has never been your thing, ask a tree specialist to get the age of your uncut tree for you.
It doesn’t matter if your damaged tree is a beautiful, flowering tree or an old, memorable tree in your backyard, bark damage can hurt your tree. The location, depth, and amount are all vital factors when you treat a tree with damaged bark.
Call a Professional
If you don’t know how to treat your tree, or if you feel the damage may be too severe for you to manage, don't hesitate to contact a Rochester arborist who can give you experienced, professional advice. In general, if the destruction to the tree's bark extends under 25% of the perimeter of the trunk in the damaged area, the tree repairs itself with very little help. We will discuss with you if tree removal needs to be an option.
Do Nothing for Minor Damage
There are times you should leave your tree alone after bark damage. A few little nicks at the bottom due to a car or SUV getting too close or a mower are circumstances a tree can overcome by itself. It grows new bark over the scrapes or holes.
Also, trees can heal over large damage areas or grow a barrier that surrounds the hole, a method referred to as compartmentalization, safeguarding the rest of the tree.
Tip: If your tree has a little wound, get rid of the loose, damaged, or dried bark surrounding the injury until you get to the area where the new bark is covering the damage. If the wound doesn’t heal on its own, call a tree care professional.
For significant damage, you can save the tree by bridge grafting, a procedure of putting healthy tissue across the damaged area. This method is tricky and best left to a tree specialist.
It entails cutting healthy branches and twigs, so they lie flat against the tree's wound, carving a flap into the injury for the twigs and placing the pieces accurately, so the twigs merge with the trunk.
Tip: Keep examining the area of the wound for the next couple of years after the damage has occurred. If the tree isn’t progressively covering the wound with bark and healthy tissue, ask a tree contractor to take a look.
Trees have an amazing ability to survive numerous harmful agents that are always in their surroundings.
We realize that all trees ultimately die. There are many hundreds of saplings and seedlings that die for each mature tree left in the woods. All ages of trees at some point die to usually the same agents and only the lucky and most adaptive ones make it to old age.
The reason that a tree might die can be one of many: the environment, diseases, insects, catastrophic event, harvest, and old age. In most instances, death is due to a combination of one or more of these reasons.
Examples of a dangerous environment for trees include:
It is very critical to know your tree species' tolerance to environmental conditions when planting. Some trees adapt very well to dangerous sites, but you need to know which species fits in where.
Harmful Diseases and Insects
Three common diseases are horrible: oak wilt, anthracnose, and root rot. These pathogens attack the tree through bark wounds, roots, and leaves, damaging a tree’s vascular system if left untreated. Prevention is the only affordable option.
Destructive insects are cunning and typically invade trees that are stressed out from diseases or environmental issues. They directly cause trees to die and will spread deadly fungus from the host trees to surrounding foliage. Insects can strike a tree's cambial layer by hunting for food, or they can destroy a tree to death. Examples of bad insects are emerald ash borers, gypsy moth, and pine beetles.
A catastrophic event is always probable in an urban setting and a huge forest. Trees are subject to being destroyed or damaged. In many instances, trees aren’t killed but are damaged to the point where there’s no energy to resist disease and insects.
For trees who defy the odds and get to old age, there is a slow dying method that might take years to be done. This is because a tree compartmentalizes around diseased and damaged areas, continuing to grow. To learn if your tree is infested with insects or disease, call a Rochester arborist.
Rochester Tree Service wants to help you care for the trees on your property. Trees are valuable resources and we want to provide interesting information to you!