What Causes Spruce Tree Diseases In Michigan?

Spruce tree diseases in Michigan are becoming all too common. From the newly identified fungus, we discovered last year, to an old nemesis like tip blight, it seems the spruce is always under attack. But knowing where these diseases come from, and how to treat your trees if they get sick, can help you keep them in tip-top shape. 

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Types of Trees In Michigan: Tulip Tree

The many types of trees in Michigan make living in this part of the country very appealing to most people. There are lots of varieties and they grow in a lot of different shapes and sizes. They’re all special in their own way, but one type of flowering tree in Michigan that really stands out is the Tulip Tree. 

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Types Of Trees In Michigan: Northern Catalpa

Of all the types of trees in Michigan that share unique features, Catalpa trees may take the cake. Catalpa speciosa (as they are also known) are also called cigar trees. It’s a reference to the long, thin seed pods that bear the trees’ fruit. In southern Michigan, this type of tree is a common native species.

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Types Of Trees In Michigan: Sugar Maple

Sugar maples are one of the most common types of trees in Michigan. It’s known under the scientific name Acer saccharum. It’s probably the most popular maple tree found in yards throughout Michigan. 

So, let’s get to know the Sugar Maple a little better. Let’s see if you’d like to maybe plant one in your yard, or if you have one already, how you can make sure you’re doing everything possible to keep it thriving.

Sugar Maple Facts

If you want a tall tree as part of your landscape, look no further. Sugar Maple trees grow to a mature height of 60 to 75 feet tall and 40 to 50 feet wide. Sugar maples, like most maples, have a naturally beautiful shape which makes them a very low-maintenance tree.

The leaf of a sugar maple tree is 3-5 inches wide and has 5 lobes, with a smooth, curved edge where the leaf of the red maple is jagged.

And the sugar maple tree is also the preferred maple for sap collection. In fact, only North America produces maple syrup, and Michigan ranks seventh in the country with around 82,000 gallons of syrup produced each year.

The Sugar Maple “Helicopters”

The fruit of a sugar maple tree is called a samara. But many people refer to types of trees in Michiganthem as “helicopters’. That’s because of the swirling motion they make as they fall to the ground.  

Maple Tree Diseases

Like many types of trees in Michigan, Maple trees are susceptible to disease. A few of the most common include:

Anthracnose is a common spring disease on maple trees. It can affect red (Acer rubrum), silver (Acer saccharinum), sugar (Acer saccharum), and Japanese (Acer palmatum) maples. Its symptoms include irregular spots and dead areas.

Maple leaf blister displays symptoms somewhat similar to maple anthracnose.

Sapstreak can be difficult to identify. It’s a fungus that infects a tree from the inside. It’s can also be difficult to notice symptoms (like stunted foliage and dieback) right away. The fungus typically enters the tree through damaged areas of the roots.

If you think your tree is suffering from any of these diseases, you should seek treatment right away.

Taking Care Of Your Trees

There are many reasons to want a maple tree in your yard. It’s the type of tree (in Michigan at least) that you want in your yard. Whether it’s the fall coloration, its size, or its uniquely shaped leaves this common tree in Michigan is anything but.

And taking care of them is no easy task. But Safari Tree offers a 7 step tree Healthcare program perfectly designed for Michigan’s four-season climate. Our combination of deep root feeding, fungal spray, and insect control will keep your trees thriving all year long.

Types Of Trees In Michigan: Eastern Cottonwood

One of the great things about living in Michigan is that we have a variety of trees to plant in our yards. But the Eastern Cottonwood probably isn’t one of them. And it’s not because it’s the fastest-growing tree in North America.

Fast growth and great shade are reasons enough to love cottonwoods. But these trees have many other endearing qualities that make them worth planting…not at your house, but in the wild.

So, let’s take a look at one of the many types of trees in Michigan, the Eastern Cottonwood, and why you may want to think twice before planting one near your home.

What Eastern Cottonwood Trees Look Like

The Eastern cottonwood is a large-canopied tree with upright limbs that arch at the tips, creating a vase-shaped outline. They’re common trees in Michigan and even up into Canada. The scientific name for cottonwood trees is Populus deltoids.

We already mentioned that it’s fast-growing. A young tree can add 6 feet or more in height each year. The trees can grow to well over 100 feet tall. In fact, some species climb to almost 190 feet. The canopy of a mature tree spreads about 75 feet wide, and the diameter of the trunk averages about 6 feet, once it matures.  

In the wild, cottonwood is one of the fastest trees to colonize unplanted areas. That makes them a good choice for areas prone to flooding and soil erosion. They’re also hardy trees. You’ll find them in USDA plant hardiness zones 2 through 9.

The leaves of the Cottonwood trees are simple and are about 3-5 inches long. They’re triangular-shaped leaves, with coarse, curved teeth and a flattened petiole. And because of their size, cottonwood trees make good shade trees when planted in the right location.

Should I Plant An Eastern Cottonwood Tree?

Planting cottonwood trees in home landscapes typically leads to issues. One of the problems with the rapid growth of the Eastern Cottonwood is that it leads to weak wood that is easily damaged. Cottonwood branches break off easily, especially during storms or periods of high wind.

In addition, their massive size makes them hard to fit in all but the largest landscapes. And their aggressive root system seeks out moisture. That means you’ll want to avoid planting near septic systems. That’s because the roots will seek it out and can damage the system. This can create an expensive repair for you. You also don’t want to plant the tree close to your home’s foundation or a sidewalk as the roots can lift the area and cause damage.

Another problem is cotton flying in the breeze. The winds can carry the cotton seeds right to window screens where they’ll stick. They can also block your AC unit, or end up floating in your swimming pool.

These messy trees not only have weak wood, but they’re also prone to disease. They include:

  • Slime Flux: This bacterial infection gets its name from the frothy slime that oozes out of the tree bark after infection.  
  • Canker: It’s easily identified by its sunken, discolored areas of bark. The disease causes dieback as the canker kills the bark and creates an oozing resin from the trunk.
  • Aphids, Scale & Mealybug: All three of these insect pests are sucking insects that feed on plant juices.  
  • Borers: There are a number of borers which are attack cottonwood.
  • Leaf Beetles: The cottonwood leaf beetle can completely defoliate a cottonwood tree.

Signs your tree is infected include:

  1. You notice that there are cracks in the trunk or peeling bark. 
  2. Your cottonwood has mushrooms growing near its roots.
  3. There are multiple branches that have no living buds.

If you notice one or more of these characteristics, your tree may be in trouble and need to be treated.

Safari Tree Can Help

As you can see, Eastern Cottonwood trees can be a little difficult to take care of. They’re beautiful, no doubt, but have to remain under your watchful eye. 

The good news is that Safari Tree has plenty of experience taking care of many types of trees in Michigan, including cottonwood. Our tree care and pest control services will keep your trees thriving all year long. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help to keep your yard looking beautiful, contact us today.

Which Tree Care Services Do You Really Need?

If you’re considering a professional tree care services company to help you with your yard, there are some things to consider. Tree care includes removal, cutting, pruning, shaping, tree trimming, replacing, planting, selecting, and fertilizing trees. It’s a wide range of responsibilities, but the focus should always be on the health and well-being of your trees.

It really comes down to developing a year-round treatment plan for your entire yard. 

That’s why it’s so important to understand the types of tree and shrub care the company offers. So, let’s take a look at what tree care services matter most to ensure you end up with healthy trees without breaking the bank.

Before You Decide…Consider This

Before you begin looking at the services a company may provide, you may want to see if their credentials include the International Society of Arborists. They’re experts on trees. To earn these credentials, you must be trained and knowledgeable in all aspects of arboriculture. 

Types Of Tree Care Services

When it comes to the actual services a tree care company provides, here are some of the most popular.

  1. Tree fertilization: Tree services typically start with a company that offers a good support system for your yard care plan. This can include spraying and tree injections
  2. Insect Infestation: There are many different types of insects that damage trees in Michigan each year. From beetles to stink bugs to scale, a good pest control program is critical to the health of your tree.
  3. Bed Maintenance: Properly maintained beds are critical. Your trees and shrubs will enjoy a healthier, weed-reduced environment.

Other services could include tree risk assessment and maintenance services. But tree removal should be considered a last resort in caring for your landscape. Besides being costly compared to treating your tree, trees add significant value to a home and if large, cannot be easily replaced.

Safari Tree Services

Our treatment program begins in spring with a dormant oil and fertilizer application. It not only helps decrease the risk of early insect infestations, but the fertilizer will feed your tree’s roots, strengthening your tree. 

In the summer your trees will get three rounds of insecticide sprays.  They’re applied to kill EABs (and other hazardous insects). They could be dwelling in your trees before they are able to reproduce and spread.

The program ends with a fall fertilizer application and an anti-desiccant spray. These will help your trees stay healthy and strong throughout the winter. It will also make them less susceptible to EAB attacks in the future.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Safari Tree’s services can help keep your trees thriving, contact us today.

What Types Of Trees In Michigan Do Beetles Infest?

There are many types of trees in Michigan, but the state is known for its variety of indigenous trees. They add beauty to the environment and serve as a source of our ecosystem. One species that stands out amongst the rest is the maple tree.

Among the various species of maple trees that are native to Michigan, the Sugar Maple tree clearly stands out. The beauty of the sugar maple entices you to want to plant one in your yard. It adds beauty instantly. But what exactly do you need to know before planting a sugar maple?

Well, the sugar maple tree, unfortunately, can become home to some common pests. Most notably,  the Asian long-horned beetle. These bugs may destroy the beauty of your trees, making them appear infected. But, you don’t have to worry. There are several ways to protect your trees from beetles and diseases. 

Here’s what you can do to keep them safe.

Use of Approved Pesticides to Eliminate the Asian Long-horned Beetle

Early identification is critical. If your tree is infested, you have to act right away.  The female Asian longhorned beetle will typically lay a single egg underneath the bark of the tree, making it hard to trace. Nonetheless, it is possible to use pesticides totree infested by the Asian longhorn beetle destroy the eggs before they hatch. This will allow you to effectively control the growth of the pests. At Safari Tree, we can help you protect your sugar maple trees through our pest control program.

It’s important that you spray a combination of insecticides and pesticides, to effectively kill eggs before they hatch. This combination works best during summer. It is also a great remedy to eliminate mature insects, which will reduce the possibility of the beetles laying more eggs in the future.

In addition to using an anti-desiccant spray, deep root feeding is necessary. It will provide maximum protection during winter. If the beetles have severely affected your trees, using chlorantraniliprole can be a great remedy as this method is known to paralyze the pests, thus rendering them unproductive and eventually killing them.

The Biological Methods

As a home or business owner, you’ll always want to maintain the natural beauty offered by the sugar maple tree. There are safer, more environment-friendly, and long-term methods to eradicate pests that slowly destroy your trees. Using some known biological methods, you can effectively control the spread of insects, as the efficacy of these methods has been tried and tested.

One of the most effective biological methods is the use of the Petch fungus. The method can effectively eliminate the Asian long-horned beetle in most parts of the United States. You can invite an expert to help you apply the fungus directly to your sugar maple tree and let the beetle consume it.

You can also use agar and oil formulations of the fungus.  The formulation will eliminate adult beetles, with minimal side effects.

The Quarantine Method

One of the best ways to ensure that the Asian long-horned beetle doesn’t get into the trees in your yard is by using the quarantine method. If you use firewood, make sure that you get your firewood locally to avoid transporting these wood-boring beetles into your yard.

The State of Michigan restricts the transporting of firewood from one region to another. This can help to curb the spread of pests, as insects don’t move on their own.  Their movement is facilitated by the transportation of infested trees. If this is to be achieved, Michigan would be better positioned to eliminate the beetles.

Having to destroy infested trees is the last thing you or any homeowner wants. But it may be necessary if the spread of these beetles gets to be uncontrollable. However, before we destroy more trees, it would be better to try out measures that can protect the sugar maple due to the economic value of these trees, and other countless benefits.

Contact Safari Tree

With the many tree species found in Michigan, you need a company that you can count on to protect all of them. At Safari Trees, we have what it takes to help you protect your trees from pests and diseases that pose a threat. 

Contact Safari Tree for all of your tree service needs, and our dedicated staff will guide you every step of the way.

What Is Tree Pruning?

An important part of tree care is proper pruning. It will contribute to the healthy growth of your trees, but it shouldn’t be confused with trimming tree branches. There is a difference between the two.  

So, let’s answer the question: “What is tree pruning?” and find out how it’s different from tree trimming. 

Why Trim Or Prune Your Trees?

Left alone, your trees can become unwieldy, with branches growing in various directions. This uneven growth can leave your trees looking scraggly, unbalanced, or misshapen. Overgrowth can also have an impact on the health of the tree and any adjoining plants. Extra branches can prevent them from getting the moisture, nutrients, and light they need to thrive.  

This is where trimming comes in.

What is Tree Trimming?

Tree trimming helps trees, shrubs, and hedges grow in a healthy manner. It’s focused primarily on aesthetics. You trim to maintain a tree’s desired shape and appearance.

what is tree pruning

When trimming, try not to remove more than 25% of a tree’s canopy at one time.

Clean out the clutter (like dead branches). You should also trim away growth coming from the roots or base of the trunk. 

But if your tree is really overgrown and out of shape, you may need to prune instead.

What Is Tree Pruning?

Pruning is when you selectively remove branches from a tree. The goal is to remove unwanted branches, improve the tree’s structure, and direct new, healthy growth. what is tree pruning

Pruning is a little more involved since it typically calls for 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.

But different tree species will call for different cuts. If you cut branches in the wrong direction or wrong spot, you can do more damage than good. 

When To Prune Your Trees

The best time to prune your trees is late fall or early spring. In both cases, it’s right on the cusp of the dormant seasons. 

This makes it easier to see the structure of your trees because they are either free of leaves or are about to be. This makes it easier to see what branches need trimming and makes it easier to make proper cuts outside the branch collar and in the direction of growth.

When Not To Trim Or Prune

In short, done correctly, trimming or pruning will help the structural integrity of your tree. But there are times when you should avoid it. 

If your canopy is high enough that it’s getting close to power lines, you may need to call in a company that offers pruning services. 

Safari Tree offers a 7-Step Tree Healthcare Program that’s perfectly designed for Michigan’s four-season climate. With 15 years of knowledge and expertise, the professionals at Safari Tree help maintain healthy trees and shrubs all year round. Contact us today. 

Types Of Trees In Michigan: The Paper Birch

ir The paper birch is a uniquely elegant tree that has a rich and useful history. Long before it became an ornamental tree, Native Americans used its wood to make baskets, canoes, and baby carriers, and the thin, white bark was used as paper to write on and send as messages. 

Today, these lovely trees are one of the most prevalent types of trees in Michigan and they can be found in every county in the state, including the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. 

Let’s discuss how you can identify a paper birch on your property, and how to take care of it so it will thrive.

What is a Paper Birch Tree?


The paper birch, otherwise known as the white birch, silver birch, and canoe birch, is a lovely tree with white, papery bark. It’s considered to be a pioneer species.  This means that it’s a hardy tree that often grows in environments that have been disturbed in some way.

Paper birch trees are easy to spot by their smooth, white bark. As the bark ages, it begins to curl up and peel off of the tree, creating a beautiful effect.

In the springtime, paper birch trees produce oval-shaped leaves that come to a tip. Their serrated edges alternate on the branches of the tree. When autumn arrives, the leaves turn a radiant shade of yellow before falling off of the tree. Since they lose their leaves each autumn and grow them again in the spring, paper birch trees are classified as deciduous.

Along with new leaves, the paper birch produces pretty yellow flowers, called catkins, each spring, making them a perfect ornamental tree to compliment your home’s landscape.

How to Identify One in Your Yard

types-of-trees-in-MichiganIf you’re curious about identifying the tree species in your yard, the paper birch makes it easy to do. It’s one of the easiest types of trees in Michigan to identify. You can’t miss the telltale white, smooth bark of a paper birch tree. In fact, it’s the white bark that allows them to grow in northern climates like ours.

According to Northern Woodlands Magazine, ecologists believe paper birch trees have white bark to protect their core temperatures during the winter months.  White objects reflect the sun’s rays. You can also identify a paper birch by its oval-shaped leaves and bright yellow flowers in the springtime. Ornamental trees surround many homes. You can also find them near rivers and along the side of the road. 

How to Take Care of Paper Birch Trees

If there’s a paper birch tree on your property, you’re in luck. Their elegant, contrasting colors bring vibrancy to your home landscaping, but they’re also very easy to maintain. Paper birch trees aren’t fussy and they don’t need a lot of extra attention. They’re hardy trees that have learned to adapt and thrive in all kinds of conditions. Your paper birch will grow best in well-drained soil. They also need full to partial sun in order to grow. 

Paper birch trees also grow pretty quickly. If you’ve got a young tree on your property, you can expect it to grow from 13 to 24 inches each year until it reaches a mature height of 30 to 65 feet tall. Regularly prune your paper birch tree and keep an eye out for pests like bronze birch borers or birch leafminers, since they can cause your tree to become weak and more susceptible to disease.

Paper birch trees are a great asset to your property and one of the most prevalent types of trees in Michigan. So it’s important to keep them healthy and strong. Here at Safari Tree, we’re here to help you with all your tree needs. Contact us today for more information.


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 also 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. This can come from the addition of structures, but it can also come from the trees you plant. The white oak is a perfect example. Between their majestic size and sprawling branches, white oaks offer ample shade to Michigan yards on sunny days.  They also produce 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. Once pollination is complete, fruits begin to grow on the tree and are ready to pick by early fall.  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.