Category: Tree Care

What is Black Knot Disease?

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Black Knot Disease on Tree

Black knot disease is a serious fungal disease that can hurt fruit trees by killing new growth and disfiguring the tree. Commonly affecting plum trees and cherry trees, this disease can devastate your trees and ruin your orchard. It spreads quickly and can overtake an orchard in no time. If you have fruit trees on your property, you need to be aware of the way this disease could affect your trees, and what you can do if you notice signs of it.

What Is Black Knot Fungus?

Black knot fungus is caused by the Apiosporina morbosa fungus. It causes knobby dark growths on the tree’s trucks or branches. While mature trees can handle the fungus, those with weak branches or the trees that are younger cannot, and the disease can lead to tree death.

Black knot fungus is also dangerous because of how quickly it can spread. During the winter, it remains dormant in the tree, so it appears that the fungus has gone away. Then in the spring, rain allows the fungus to release spores, which can spread on the wind. These spores take hold on different trees, spreading the disease throughout the orchard. This chronic problem will continue to spread year after year, so you need to deal with it decisively.

Black Knot Disease

What Are the Symptoms of Black Knot?

The most obvious symptom of black knot disease is a large gnarled black swelling, which is called a gall. However, if you can spot earlier signs before the large black gall develops, you can start treatment more easily.

At the start of the disease, the tree will develop small olive-green swellings. Over the next two to three years, these will grow and turn black. The final gall will grow to be four to six inches in size. Once the gall matures, it start producing spores which spread to other trees. Eventually, the gall will grow large enough to completely surround the branch, killing the leaves beyond the point of the gall.

How to Get Rid of Black Knot

Black knot can be a challenging disease to treat. One of the first steps to take when you notice the problem is to prune the tree. Identify and remove all the branches that have obvious black knot towards the end of the winter. Aim to prune four inches below the fungal growth, just in case the disease has spread but is not yet visible. After pruning the tree, disinfect the pruning tools so you do not inadvertently spread the disease to a healthy tree. Remember that the pruned branches can spread the disease, so dispose of them properly.

After removing the galls, apply fungicides, especially in younger trees. Fungicide is most effective if applied after the flower has budded, but before it is in full bloom. Choose a fungicide that is designed for your region for the most effectiveness.

This job is not an easy one to tackle. You must be able to identify all of the infected branches of the tree, and remove them effectively, or the tree will simply develop a new infection. The best way to deal with black knot is to hire a certified arborist who can identify the black knot fungus and treat the trees as effectively as possible.

If your cherry trees, plum trees or other fruit trees are showing signs of black knot disease, get help right away. Regular checkups from a Safari Tree arborist will help identify black knot fungus before it gets out of hand.

How Do I Know If My Tree Is Sick? Common Signs of Tree Sickness

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Trees are beautiful to look at, fun to climb and lovely to sit under when you need some shade. But most importantly, trees provide the life-giving oxygen that all life on earth needs to survive. That’s why it’s so important to monitor your trees for tree disease symptoms. Once an infection takes hold, if not properly treated, your trees may need to be removed. Safari Tree takes Michigan tree disease control issues seriously so we have compiled this guide so that you can learn the warning signs and keep your trees happy and healthy.

How to know if trees are sick in Michigan

Check the Bark

The bark is like a tree’s skin and can tell you a lot about the health of your tree. As with human skin, healthy bark will look healthiest when it is soft and flexible. If your tree’s bark seems brittle, scratchy or is noticeably flaking, this means your tree is fighting for its life.

Additionally, bald spots can also signify tree bark diseases. There are many things that can make a tree sick from bacteria, fungi and bug infestations to issues with birds.

Monitor the Leaves

While it’s normal for trees to lose leaves during the fall, if you notice sudden, unexplained leaf loss the rest of the year, it might be time to call in the professionals. The leaves are one of the first signs that can clue you in to a potentially sick tree.

If it’s spring or summer and you notice that your leaves are shriveled, dry and dropping from the tree at an excessive rate, your tree will need some TLC stat. Other symptoms can include strange spots or patches of rust on the leaves. These are also signs of shrub disease symptoms and will need professional treatment.

Watch out for Wild Mushrooms

Mushrooms and other types of fungus are never good news for a tree. If you see patches of mushrooms growing on the bark or the trunk, call us at Safari Tree right away. There are fungicides that can get rid of these nasty infections but if fungus spreads, it can kill the tree.

Falling Branches

It’s normal for branches to fall every now and again. This is especially true if there has recently been a great deal of wind or a storm. However, like leaves, if you notice excessive falling branches, take a closer look. If they are dried out or rotten, there may be an insect infestation taking hold.

Sick Roots

The root network is arguably the most important part of a tree. Roots provide the tree with essential nutrients and water from the ground and also are responsible for keeping a tree erect and secure. However, if the roots of your tree get nicked by lawnmowers, get overly soggy from over-watering or display signs of wood ears or patches of mushrooms, your tree could be vulnerable to sickness. If your tree roots look sick or you aren’t quite sure if they are at risk, contact us today.

Michigan Tree Disease Control

With proper maintenance, trees can grow for decades offering shade, beauty and fun. But if you suspect your tree might be sick, contact Safari Tree for help battling the infection. We specialize in the treatment of sick trees and also provide removal services for any trees that are past the point of help. Our team also has a seasonal tree care program for tree disease prevention. This includes Ash tree disease prevention.

Sick trees can be dangerous as they are more brittle and can easily break, whether that’s the trunk or branches, and cause damage to property or any people or pets nearby. Contact us for a free estimate. We look forward to caring for your trees.

How Is Tree Fungus Treated?

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Wedgle Injection on a tree

As a homeowner in South East Michigan, you take great pride in all aspects of your property. This includes trees, which must be properly maintained and cared for to ensure they remain healthy and robust. That’s why securing effective tree fungus treatment is so important. Unlike other threats to your trees, such as insect infestations, tree fungus may not be readily apparent to the untrained eye. Safari Tree can help you identify any possible issues and offer a reliable solution. We believe in a comprehensive approach to tree health, which is why our Michigan tree fungus services are so trusted by local clients.

Tree cankers caused by tree fungus

The first step to tree fungus control is to identify any possible issues. There’s a range of tree diseases to look out for, each of which presents with specific signs and symptoms. Being aware of these signs will help you determine the specific threat facing your tree and allow you to take the proper steps to find a reasonable solution. The following are just a few things to look out for if you’re concerned about the health of your trees this summer.

Tree Cankers

While cankers can be caused by bacterial issues, they often result from tree fungus. The problem usually begins with an injury to the tree. Once the injury occurs spores make their way inside, which results in obvious defects. While it depends on the type of tree canker, look for things like ridged calluses which can be rather large in size. These callouses will continue to grow and grow, until splits in the bark form. These areas will be discolored while also giving off a foul smell, as well as cause leaves to shrivel and die. If left unchecked, the tree’s vascular system will eventually become infected. Professional tree fungus services are crucial in this case. Pruning can alleviate the issue, but it must be done carefully to prevent the fungus from spreading. You should also take steps to prevent injuries to your tree, such as applying a safe insect repellant.

Tree Rust Spot

Much like its impact on metal, tree “rust” grows on trees gradually. This fungal infection usually targets the leaves, and while there are innumerable types of rust that attack different trees, there are a few common signs to look for if you suspect an issue. For instance, tree rust spot often causes bumps on leaves. Leaves may also become deformed, and after so long they will wither and die without proper treatment. The first sign of rust is discoloration on leaves, which start as white sports before changing to colors like red, brown, and orange. Identifying the correct type of fungus is key to providing treatment. From here, diseased leaves will be removed, and fungicide will be applied based on the type of infection affecting your tree.


Some types of Michigan tree fungus thrive on the area’s cool, moist climate. This is the case with anthracnose, which can cause serious damage to your trees if the proper treatment methods aren’t taken. Spring is the most likely time for anthracnose since the temperature and rainy conditions make for an ideal breeding ground. Leaf damage will also be prevalent, including brown colored lesions that continue to become darker in color until leaves finally shed. Fungus on tree branches may also be evident, and fruit-bearing trees will show signs on the fruit itself. Additionally, anthracnose can easily spread from tree to tree, which illustrates the importance of getting it under control quickly.

Safari Tree is here to help you identify, treat, and prevent common tree fungi and other diseases. Our tree health care programs take a holistic approach to trees and plants, including the application of insecticide, fungal sprays, and fertilizer. We also offer pest control services, including rodents, mosquitoes, fleas, and ants. Call (855) 317-5965 today to schedule tree service at your home.

Fogging and Other Forms of Residential Mosquito Control

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Mosquito spray treatment in Michigan

Mosquitos have been spoiling outdoor activities for generations. The welts left behind from their bites are often itchy and painful and scratching them hard enough to tear the skin can lead to infection. However, mosquitos are more than just a perennial nuisance; they can be dangerous too. They can carry viruses that cause potentially life-threatening diseases. Many homeowners are now taking steps to protect their properties with residential mosquito control in the form of fogging and other services from Safari Tree.

Mosquito Control Service

What Is Mosquito Fogging?

Mosquito fogging is a way to kill large numbers of adult mosquitos all at the same time. It involves dispersing a synthetic pesticide into the area via a spray of very small droplets. The technique of dispersing these droplets into the air is called fogging and is typically accomplished by means of special machinery. When adult mosquitos come in contact with droplets of the pesticide that linger in the air after the fogging is complete, they are killed instantly, meaning they no longer pose a threat.

Is Mosquito Fogging Harmful to Humans or Wildlife?

The concentration of pesticides used in mosquito fogging is so small that it only poses a danger to mosquitos and insects of similar size. Neither animals, plants, or human beings are harmed by it. The chemicals involved are also odorless, so you are unlikely to detect any evidence of the fogging in the air after it takes place.

In fact, you’re in greater danger from mosquitos themselves than fogging. Mosquitos carry viruses that can cause a number of diseases. If an infected mosquito bites you, you have the potential to contract the diseases, some of which can be deadly. Mosquito-borne diseases in North America include the following:

  • West Nile virus has been present in the United States since 1999. Infections can be mild or severe. Severe infections can cause neurological symptoms including partial paralysis, seizures, tremors, or coma.
  • St. Louis encephalitis is a rare but serious mosquito-borne infection found throughout the United States that causes swelling and inflammation of the brain.
  • Zika virus is found mostly in tropical and subtropical climates. It can cause neurological disorders in adults, as well as birth defects if a woman becomes infected while pregnant.

Are There Limits to the Effectiveness of Mosquito Fogging?

Mosquito fogging will remain effective at killing adult mosquitos for approximately three weeks at a time. After 21 days or so, it will be necessary to have another treatment to continue unbroken protection from adult mosquitos on your property.

While mosquito fogging is proven effective at killing adult mosquitos, it does not destroy mosquito eggs or larva. Fortunately, there are other mosquito control services like larvicidal surface water treatment available to prevent larval mosquitos from becoming adults. You can also take the preventative step of draining any unnecessary standing water from your property.

Can You Perform Mosquito Fogging Yourself?

There are products available for do-it-yourself mosquito fogging. However, remember that the process is only safe when you follow the instructions on the label to the letter. It is better to leave mosquito fogging in the hands of the professionals, as an amateur mistake has the potential to cause harm to you or to the environment.

Are There Alternatives to Pesticides?

While the chemicals used in traditional mosquito fogging are safe and effective, some homeowners are uncomfortable with the idea of using poisons in their yards that could have unforeseen effects on their families or the natural environment. Unlike some mosquito control companies, we understand this concern, and that’s why we offer organic mosquito control solutions that are just as effective, yet use natural materials that won’t harm the environment or cause unpleasant side effects.

What Are You Waiting For?

Mosquito season will soon be here again. Contact Safari Tree today to discuss which mosquito control services will work best to protect you, your family, and your property.

When To Prune Trees and Shrubs

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Pruning a tree branch

As a homeowner, you work hard to keep your property in top condition. For outdoor spaces, that means paying special attention to exterior structures and landscaping. Your maintenance routine should include a tree and shrub care program that promotes healthy growth and aesthetically pleasing results. At Safari Tree, we can give you some expert tips to help you achieve these goals.

Start With the Basics

Nourishment and support are key factors for tree and shrubbery upkeep. Before you think about pruning, you need to make sure that you give your plants essential nutrients and protect them against pest damage. To start them off right and boost their growth, we recommend tree and shrub services with a multi-season approach:

  • Spring: Apply dormant oil and a deep root feeding.
  • Summer: Perform multiple rounds of insecticide and fungal spray applications.
  • Fall: Do a deep root feeding and apply anti-desiccant spray.

In early spring, an initial application of dormant oil inhibits pest infestations and staves off damage to trees and shrubs. Dormant oils are formulated to kill harmful insects and prevent their eggs from hatching. Deep root feedings in the spring and fall consist of fertilizers, delivering nutrients directly to the roots to help plants thrive all year. Pest control continues throughout the summer with insecticide and fungal sprays, designed to keep destructive organisms away. Anti-desiccant spray help trees and shrubs retain moisture during deep freezes, protecting them from drying out and suffering from winter burn.

Pruning 101: Understanding the Techniques

Besides nutrition and pest control, pruning is a vital step in caring for your shrubs and trees. It can help improve their health, shape their growth patterns and even encourage flower and fruit production. Many homeowners don’t feel confident in their pruning abilities. You needn’t be afraid to perform this simple task, but the techniques are important.

Pruning typically involves making two types of cuts: heading cuts to shorten single branches and thinning cuts to remove branches. Heading cuts should be made at a 45-degree angle and placed just after a healthy bud. A thinning cut should occur as closely as possible to the location where a branch intersects with its primary limb.

Your first goal is to remove dead, diseased, dying and damaged branches to keep each plant in good condition. You should also prune suckers or odd branches that sprout near the base or roots. Several other types are prime pruning candidates:

  • Limbs that sag or seem to compete with a tree’s central leader
  • Branches that grow too close to or rub against others
  • Branches forming acute angles with the trunk
  • Watersprouts, or fast-growing vertical branches originating from the trunk or older branches

Develop Your Pruning Regimen

Knowing when to prune is also critical to achieving best results. Not only that, each tree and shrub category has its own particular pruning needs. Summer-flowering species benefit most from pruning in late winter or early spring, while they’re still dormant. New growth on random-branching conifers such as junipers and yews can also be pruned during this time. In early summer, prune whorl-branching conifers along and spring-flowering plants after their blossoms have declined. Trees with heavy springtime sap flow should be pruned in midsummer.

When is it a bad idea to prune? Some homeowners make the mistaking of doing do during fall or early winter. However, this practice can injure plants and impede new growth. During this season, only branches that are dead, dying, diseased or crossing each other should be removed.

Tree and Shrub Care Services in Southeast Michigan

With 15 years of knowledge and expertise, the professionals at Safari Tree help maintain healthy trees and shrubs all year round. For a free quote, complete our online form or call us toll-free at (844) 500-8733.