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.

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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How to Care for Apple Trees in Michigan

Apple trees make a great addition to any Michigan lawn for a variety of reasons. While the trees themselves add natural beauty to outdoor spaces and boast leafy branches that provide shade, they supply homeowners with a continuous source of delicious fruit — whether it’s a snack in the afternoon or baked into a pie for dessert.

The unique benefits of apple trees are paired with a unique set of requirements in terms of care. Compared to other tree varieties, apple trees tend to be more susceptible to insect and disease problems, with apple scab being one example. Known to frequently attack a variety of apple tree types, this highly contagious disease affects both the leaves as well as the fruit of apple trees, causing leaves to turn yellow and fall off trees early and fruit to become distorted and drop early too.

In an effort to combat apple scab and other damaging diseases, we’ve put together a checklist on how to properly care for apple trees in Michigan.

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