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Emerald Ash Borer

Arbor News - 2012

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EAB-Prevention is the Best Medicine
By Susan Tangen-Certified Arborist WI-0684A

Did you know it is almost impossible to tell if a tree has Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) when the population for the tree is low? Symptoms usually do not appear until years later, after the insect has become established in the tree. With Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee counties under quarantine, your ash trees could be at risk. Now is the time to protect your trees from EAB.

There are two systemic insecticides that has shown to provide up to 90% or more control for EAB emamextin benzoate and imidacloprid. The first insecticide, emamectin benzoate, brand name Tree-age, is a relatively new insecticide. Although research is on-going, it has shown it may provide 2 years, possibly 3 years, of control under the higher rate. The application requires drilling numerous 3/8” holes in the trunk around the base of the tree. These wounds could become pathways for other ash pests in addition to causing damage to the water and nutrient-conducting system of the tree.

The second insecticide is imidacloprid which is the most widely tested soil-applied insecticide for the control of EAB. Because it is injected into the soil, within 18” of the trunk, there is no damage to the tree.

However, the insecticide needs to be applied annually. Another imidacloprid treatment option is a Mauget trunk injection, however, this method requires drilling numerous 5/16” holes in the trunk at the base of the tree, and once again, the disadvantage is wounding the tree. As with the soil applied imidacloprid, the Mauget needs to be done annually.

Of course there are other treatment options available; however, they are not as effective. Basal trunk spray needs to be done annually and there will only be 50% to 70% control. Protective cover sprays, which require spraying the entire tree with an insecticide, are the only treatment that targets the adult beetle and is the least effective.

Because EAB is upon us, treatment to help protect your highly valued ash trees should be done now. When deciding on a treatment option, think of the long term damage on the tree and the efficacy of the treatment. However, there may be situations where you may only be able to do a certain treatment. In those cases, the benefits may out-weigh the negatives.

Evergreens are not Forever Green
By Susan Tangen-Certified Arborist WI-0684A

It is late summer and you notice your evergreen hedge is turning brown. You are concerned that something is terribly wrong so you begin looking for a certified arborist. Before you make the call, take a closer look at the evergreens, it may just be a natural occurring phenomenon called seasonal needle drop.

Contrary to popular belief, evergreens are not forever green. Depending on the species, evergreens will lose their older needles after one or more years. White pines have the most dramatic effect of all the evergreens because their inner needles will yellow all at once and drop, leaving only the branch ends with green needles. Similar to white pines, the inner branchlets of arborvitaes will yellow, and then turn brown. However, the brown branchlets will remain on the tree for a longer period of time than pines. Spruces, on the other hand, tend to retain their needles for 5 or more years; therefore, the discoloration from seasonal needle drop is not as noticeable.

Because weather conditions and the season will trigger seasonal needle drop, many evergreens will likely yellow at the same time. For most evergreen species, seasonal needle drop occurs late summer or early fall. However, yews are one of the exceptions; their needles turn yellow and drop late spring or early summer.

Unfortunately, seasonal needle drop can be easily confused with insect or disease problems causing undue concern. Look to see where the discoloration and defoliation is occurring. If the symptoms are uniform throughout the interior of the tree, it is probably seasonal needle drop. In contrast, if the newer needles are discoloring or dropping, insect of diseases may be the culprit.

Seasonal needle drop is a natural occurring phenomenon of evergreens. Depending on the species, the needle discoloration and drop can be quite dramatic and may appear as if the tree has a pest problem. Determine if the needle discoloration and drop is normal by observing the area on the tree being affected and the time of year. However, if you are still in doubt call a certified arborist.

Did you know about our “Sister”company?

What started in 2005 as a meeting at Grace Church on Hwy. 31 to provide new trees for the grounds, soon expanded in to a partnership and commercial nursery co-owned by Brian Cassity and Timothy Hoeffert. Located in Sturtevant, we have a nice selection of shade, ornamental and spruce trees. Our lot at 9160 Charles St. in Sturtevant serves as our sales yard and you’re also welcome to browse the nursery around the corner on Lori Lane. Visit our web site at: Arbor Glen Nursery

The Cassity Tree Service Mission Statement:

Our motto “Plant Health Care with a Conscience” is the sum of our mission to provide knowledgeable, proper and ethical care of woody plants. Our goal is to provide this care with the most environmentally sensitive products and techniques that have been proven as effective and are reasonably attainable.


This is the abnormal flattening of the plant organs, usually stems, on both woody and non-woody plants. It occurs when there is a change in the genetics of the growing point. Leaves on the stem are usually in shape but may be undersized. The cause of Fasciation could be a random mutation or environmental factors such as bacteria, fungi, virus, insects, herbicide, frost, or physical damage to the growing plant. Fasciation itself is not contagious and does not spread through a planting. In most cases Fasciation is just a random oddity.

Benefits of Trees

Most trees and shrubs in cities or communities are planted to provide beauty or shade. These are two excellent reasons for their use. Woody plants also serve many other purposes, and it often is helpful to consider these other functions when selecting a tree or shrub for the landscape.

Consumer Beware!

Care for your trees needs to be done by skilled, trained and insured professionals, both for the health and beauty of your trees and for your safety. Both workers and homeowners are killed doing tree work every year. For your safety, do not perform tree work. For your financial protection, hire a company that is professional. If the company doesn’t have insurance or is not a legal company-you, the homeowner-could be held responsible as a contractor.

Avoid being “taken” by fly-by-night operators and unprofessional companies. Choose a company with the TCIA Accreditation “seal of approval”.

The lighting of the first Community Tree
by Richard W. O’Donnell

Had it not been for dedicated workers of the New York Edison, a predecessor of con Edison, America’s first community tree might not have sparkled in all it s glory on Christmas Eve in 1912.

As Mrs. Emilie D. Lee Herreshoff, who had the idea for the public tree wrote, in a letter to the editor of the New York World: “The New York Edison employees worked long and hard to make the great event a grand success. I have been told they had to string more than 10,000 feet of wire, and put up more than 1,500 lights. This was not a simple task. Never before had a holiday tree been lighted in such glorious fashion. The thousands of New Yorkers who have been inspired by the great tree owe these men a great debt of gratitude.”

In 1911, Mrs. Herreshoff had requested Mayor William J. Gaynor to display “a public tree during the holiday season.” Her request was turned down, but a year later the socialite’s Christmas wish was granted.

A lot of New Yorkers helped put up that first community tree. Members of the Adirondack Club donated the 63 foot balsam, and the railroad delivered it free of charge. The police department pledged enough men to maintain order when the tree was lighted.

And, of course, a team of workers from New York Edison- 30 of them –were the ones who actually put up the nations –and probably the world’s-first community tree for all to see.

The giant tree was erected in Madison Square Park at Madison Avenue and 23rd Street. It took from dawn to dusk to decorate the great tree and, at that, work was not completed until shortly before it was time for the tree to be lighted.

At 5:30 p.m. on that memorable Christmas Eve, Mrs. Herreshoff closed a switch and “a faint glow appeared at the very top of the tree, expanding and increasing in intensity until a 10 inch star gleamed brightly against the deep, dark blue of the night sky.” After that, “many colored fire leaped along one snow laden branch after another in a blaze of green, blue, white and red lights. “

The nation’s first community tree was lighted every night for a week, and there was always a crowd on hand to witness the event.

On New Year’s Eve, the tree was turned off shortly before midnight. Only the start at the top was left glowing. At the stroke of midnight, a huge sign flashed on. It had been put up by the Edison workers.

The message read: “1913…Happy New Year!” Then the tree lights came on and were left burning until daybreak.

America’s first community tree was a tremendous success. Rare indeed is the city, town, village or hamlet in the lad that does not have its own community tree nowadays.

Previous Arbor News Publications

This newsletter has adapted articles from the publications of the following organizations in addition to our original pictures and stories.

Cassity Tree Service - 9160 Charles Street - Sturtevant, WI. - 53177 - 262.886.5224