How to Keep Tree Suckers Under Control

Tree suckers are vegetative growths that stem from your tree’s root system. Suckers grow from rootstock and divert nutrients away from the top of your tree and will slow its growth.

Essentially, suckers are a tree’s attempt to grow more branches, often in response to some kind of stress or injury. A tree sucker will sap the energy away from the healthier and more desirable branches on top. 

Here are some ways you can eliminate suckers and/or keep them under control.  

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What is Leaf Spot Fungus?

Leaf spot fungus occurs in warm weather. It typically affects plants, but it also occurs in home lawns and golf courses. It causes spotted-looking leaves and wilted grass.

So, before your yard falls victim to it, let’s find out what causes leaf spot fungus and how you can prevent it. 

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Debunking Common Myths Around Summer Tree Care

When it comes to summer tree care, there are some common misconceptions homeowners have. From watering trees to pruning to how much insecticide to use—the questions can be endless. 

So, let’s take a look at some care tips and debunk a few common myths around summer tree care.

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Scale Insects on Trees: The Impact of an Infestation

Scale insects on trees are not something you want to have to deal with. 

They’re waxy insects that pierce trees with their mouths and suck sap from them. This makes it more difficult for trees to maintain moisture and nutrients in the short term. The honeydew that scale excretes onto trees can provide sustenance for sooty mold that can cause further infestations and damage to trees. 

There are more than 60 varieties that occur in Michigan, and many times they are not noticed or are ignored until tree or shrub branches start to die. So, let’s take a look at some of the negative effects scale infestations can have on tree health and the importance of applying treatments as quickly as possible.

Types of Scale Insects

Soft (Lecanium), kermes, and bark scales produce honeydew. These scales feed directly on plant parts that transport fluid and nutrients. This can reduce plant growth and cause leaf drop or branch dieback. The most common symptom of soft scale infestation is an accumulation of honeydew and sooty mold on or beneath a plant.

Armored scales do not produce honeydew. The armored scale’s straw-like mouth moves like a plumber’s snake to burst plant cells and feed on their contents. This can reduce plant growth and vigor. Common symptoms of infestation include premature leaf drop and branch dieback.  

Pit scales are likely to do the same to the raised plant tissue that surrounds them. If there are large numbers of scale, the pits coalesce, making the twig surface appear dimpled and roughened. Feeding by oak pit scales can kill twigs and the dead leaves remain on infested twigs through the winter. 

The Juniper scale is a very common and sometimes serious pest of juniper. They are light gray or white, very small, and nearly circular. They like to attach themselves to the underside of the needles, rather than the bark. 

One of the first signs of an infestation is when leaves on individual branches begin losing their color and may eventually die.

Lecanium scale and Cottony Maple scale are the most common in Southeast Michigan. They will cover the branches of silver maple, honeylocust, and many other species of hardwood trees in our area.

The biggest problem comes from the droplets of honeydew raining down from infested trees in May and early June. Honeydew is the sugary liquid waste excreted by scale insects. A considerable amount of honeydew is excreted because scale insects need to suck a lot of sap from trees in order to get the amount of protein they need for growth and development.

Another problem that can develop is mold. The honeydew is often mistaken for tree sap as it covers cars and buildings under infested trees. The accumulation of honeydew can lead to the growth of black, sooty mold. Finding sooty mold under a plant is often the first indication that there are scale insects, but it may also indicate aphids and other sucking insects.

Scale infestations rarely kill trees but can damage them and be especially hard on young trees. Even the most mature trees that are infested can become thin and experience branch dieback. And repeated heavy Lecanium scale infestations can kill branches or crown dieback in trees. 

When Do Scale Insects Appear?

There are typically two times of the year that scale insects become active. It’s because there are two generations in Michigan. The first hatching in early to mid-June, and the second in late July or early August. 

How To Control Scale Insects

The good news is that there are ways to control scale populations. These natural predators can be held in check, even after you’ve noticed eggs on your trees and shrubs. A proactive approach is best. 

But keep this in mind, scale insects are not easy to control with traditional contact insecticides because of the covering that protects their bodies.

The most effective control strategy is to spray with insecticides, beginning at egg hatch, when the so-called crawlers first appear. Use insecticides during the hatching period when crawlers are first observed will provide maximum effectiveness.

You don’t have to let scale insects destroy your trees! If you’d like to find out how to get them under control or from ever showing up in the first place, feel free to contact Safari Tree. One of our professional arborists will be happy to give you a rundown of the quick, effective treatment and prevention services we offer.

What Is the Best Way to Control Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes can make the spring, summer, and fall months absolutely miserable, especially if your home is near a body of water. And while bug zappers and insect repellents are more of a temporary fix, the best way to control mosquitoes is to form a barrier on your property.

But how do you do that?

Let’s take a look at some of the ways to keep them at bay.

Why Treat For Mosquitoes?

Before we talk about controlling mosquitoes around your home, it’s important to understand the reasons why you should keep your mosquito population from getting too big. First, they’re a nuisance. No matter where you go or what you do, they’ll find you and bite. 

Secondly, mosquitoes can transmit a number of different infectious diseases, many of which cause long-term health problems or can be fatal. After they get a piece of you, they travel from host to host, transmitting mosquito-borne diseases, diseases found in Southeast Michigan include:

  • West Nile Virus
  • Zika
  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis 

Mosquitoes can also affect the local economy. If you live in an area that’s prone to mosquitoes, it can hurt home values and tourism dollars. 

Mosquito Breeding Grounds To Look For

There are a few things that attract mosquitoes to be aware of so you can start to reduce your mosquito population. The first step in doing this is to control the areas in which they like to breed.

Mosquitoes can breed anywhere with standing water. As long as there is an inch or more of water, mosquitoes will lay their eggs. 

You can prevent a mosquito problem by removing water sources, including:

  • Ponds
  • Swimming pools
  • Birdbaths 
  • Puddles 

Essentially, areas where their eggs won’t wash downstream. And remember, mosquitoes understand that water can evaporate at a rapid rate, so they often search for deep pools of water to lay their eggs.

Best Way To Control Mosquitoes

To reduce mosquito numbers around your home, form a barrier between you and the bugs. 

While at-home sprays can help temporarily ward off mosquitoes, the best way to control mosquitoes is to have a professional apply a powerful spray. That way, you’ll have a barrier in place that prevents mosquitoes from entering backyards in the first place — versus having to fight these insects off after they’re inside the “fence,” so to speak. 

A professional team will also know exactly what type of insecticide to use and where to place it. 

They’re trained to locate and eliminate your mosquito problem at its source.

Investing in a professional mosquito spray treatment, like those offered by Safari Tree, can protect you and your family all season long.

Our mosquito control is GUARANTEED to kill mosquito larvae. We use ​proven methods to do this, as well as natural mosquito control. It’s a powerful mist treatment that covers your property without jeopardizing safety.

Contact Safari Tree’s professional pest control services today to get a free estimate.

Why You Should Invest in a Flea and Tick Yard Treatment

Fleas and ticks can be incredibly harmful to dogs, cats and humans, too. But it’s only part of the reason you should consider a flea and tick yard treatment. From the diseases they transmit to the allergic reactions they can cause for you and your pets alike, fleas and ticks need to be kept out of yards, as this is often where infestations start.

With warming temps approaching, summer is prime time for flea and tick infestations. They thrive in warm, humid climates and can find their way to your pets in the most common environments — on a walk, a trip to the park, and in your own backyard.

Let’s take a look at some flea and tick yard treatments that can help protect you and your pets all summer long.

Where Flea And Tick Control Starts

flea and tick control

If you see an occasional mouse running through your yard, you should be on alert. Rodents are big carriers, and it’s not just mice. Rats and those cute little chipmunks are carriers, too. Their passengers will attach themselves to you and your pet, and then they’re inside your home.

You’ll want to pay attention to your dog and outdoor cats. If you see them scratching constantly, there’s a good chance you’ll start finding fleas and you’ll need to treat your yard. Remember that very few flea and tick infestations will come directly from your pet. The vast majority of them usually start outside your home. This is why it’s critical to not only treat your pet for fleas but also your yard.

Do it Yourself or Hire a Professional?

Like anything in your yard, you can chose a DIY solution or go with a professional.  If you chose to do it yourself, one of the first things you might want to try to curb your tick and flea infestation is an over-the-counter yard spray. This ready-to-spray, hose-end treatment kills fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other listed insects. Manufacturers claim they can kill adult fleas outdoors for up to 12 weeks.

 

Another options is cinnamon oil, which is a highly concentrated essential oil that kills ticks on contact by smothering them. For best results, you should apply it in early spring. You spray the diluted solution and spray it on your lawn, but beware. While cinnamon oil is a safe, non-toxic choice for tick control in your yard, always use caution when working with or mixing this product. In some cases, humans and pets who come in contact with cinnamon oil experience contact dermatitis. 

You also have to make sure that your lawn is properly hydrated and not under water stress before applying cinnamon oil. If you don’t, you could damage your turf.

While both of these solutions do work, the treatments can be challenging to apply correctly to achieve good results, and they do not last as long as treatments professionally applied.

This is why the safest, most effective route to take is a professional flea and tick yard treatment, like a dormant oil spray. It can be applied to trees around your yard, they don’t leave behind a toxic residue and dissipate quickly.

Professional Flea And Tick Yard Treatments Are Best 

Flea and tick control in Southeast Michigan can be challenging. That’s why investing in a professional flea and tick yard treatment works best. This integrated pest management approach involves inspection, then targeting eggs, tick and flea larvae and adults with the appropriate insecticides.  

If you’re a pet owner, you need to be extra vigilant about flea and tick control for both yourself and your pets. A professional treatment will help keep your family and pets safe from these harmful insects and help you to feel more comfortable in your outdoor space.  

Safari Tree flea and tick treatments attack your infestation at the source. And without the onslaught of bugs, you’ll be able to use your yard regularly, instead of running for cover.

 

 

Are Tree Injection Treatments Better Than Spray Methods?

If you have a diseased tree on your property, you may want to consider a tree injection treatment to help bring it back to life. Its like an IV for your tree.

Tree injections are designed to administer antibiotics, nutrients, growth regulators, and treatments directly into a trees vascular system. This approach to treating tree disease delivers faster and more effective results than traditional spray methods, with lower costs and a reduced impact on the environment. 

So, lets take a look at how tree injections work in more detail, expand on their benefits compared to alternatives, and talk about the tree injection services that Safari Tree provides.

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How To Get Rid Of Tree Beetles

If you’re wondering how to get rid of beetles in a tree, the answer is simple. You have to know what type of beetle you’re dealing with. There are some sure-fire ways to get rid of them, so you can make your beetle problem go away.

If you have a beetle infestation in your tree, they’re there to feed. Most beetles are herbivores, eating only plants. This includes roots, stems, leaves, seeds, nectar, fruits, or even the wood of the plant itself. 

So, let’s take a look at how to get rid of beetles in a tree before they do permanent damage.  

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What Are the Best Trees to Plant in Michigan?

Spring is here — and among warming temperatures and flowers blooming, that means it’s time for tree planting season. Planting trees in the early spring, right as the ground starts to thaw and plants are still dormant, gives new trees ample time to establish their roots and develop their leaves before the harsh conditions of summer and winter arrive.

This still leaves the question of which trees to plant. Ideally, you’ll want to find trees that not only add beauty to your outdoor space but ones that are also native to your climate. That way, you’ll get the aesthetics you want without all the added time, maintenance and costs. Not to mention, native plants are also beneficial to the environment, as they require fewer pesticides and less water to maintain.

With those elements in mind, here are three trees we recommend planting in your Michigan yard.

3 of the Best Trees to Plant in Your Michigan Yard

1. Eastern Redbud Tree

If you’re looking to add a pop of color to your outdoor space, the Eastern Redbud is an ideal fit. This native tree is recognized for its pink and purple flowers that line its branches in early spring, and the heart-shaped leaves that emerge as the temperature warms. Eastern Redbuds are also known to attract a variety of wildlife, from butterflies to songbirds, inviting the soothing sights and sounds of nature into your yard.

eastern redbud tree

Source: Getty Images

2. White Oak Tree

Most homeowners crave a mix of sun and shade in their outdoor space. While this can come from the addition of structures, it can also come from the trees you plant — with white oak being a perfect example. Between their majestic size and sprawling branches, white oaks offer ample shade to Michigan yards on sunny days, while producing acorns that attract the likes of white-tailed deer, squirrels and other small mammals. In the fall, these native trees also grace yards with pops of burgundy and red colors that create a dynamic, beautiful look.

white oak tree

Source: Getty Images

3. Crabapple Tree

The crabapple tree is a native tree that checks a lot of boxes. White or pink blossoms in the early spring set the scene for bees to pollinate, and once pollination is complete, fruits begin to grow on the tree and are ready to pick by early fall. While crabapple trees make a visual impact year-round, this is especially true in the winter months when the red fruit sits against the backdrop of snow-covered branches.

crabapple tree

Source: Getty Images

As a tree care expert with branches across Southeast Michigan, Safari Tree is passionate about helping local homeowners plant the right trees and keep them healthy and beautiful. Learn more about our tree care services here.

What Is Killing Oak Trees in Michigan?

The No. 1 killer of oak trees in Michigan is caused by oak wilt disease. For several years, this disease has continued to move through Michigan at an alarming rate — with April through July being the time of the year when oak trees are most at risk. In this blog, we’ll share the history of this disease, how it affects oak trees, and its impact throughout the state.

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