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Meet A Tree - Blog

Ginkgo - Ginkgo Biloba

Posted on June 13, 2018 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (2)

https://arundeltreeservice.meetatree.com/2018/06/ginkgo-gingoginko-ginkgo-biloba.html" target="_blank">https://arundeltreeservice.meetatree.com/2018/06/ginkgo-gingoginko-ginkgo-biloba.html

The Ginkgo Tree - Ginkgo Biloba - is the survivor of all arboreal survivors. There were Ginkgo trees when dinosaurs walked the Earth. The sole remnant of a group of plants even more primitive than Conifers. It is a living fossil, and fossils relating to the modern Ginkgos dating back 270 million years. They were wiped out completely in North America by the Glaciers,and thought to at one time be extinct in the wild the world over. They however thrived in China where the Buddhist monks tended to them in their gardens. When growing in the wild , they are found infrequently in deciduous forests and valleys with fine silty soil. It has long been cultivated in China and is now common in the southern third of that country. They were exported to England in 1754 and to the U.S. about 30 years later, cultivated in both countries for over 200 years it has failed to become significantly naturalized in either.

Ginkgos are also known as Maiden Hair trees, and sometimes referred to by a variation in spelling on the name - Gingko/Gingo/Ginko. They grow to be very tall, they average between 60-100ft, with some specimens in China reaching over 160 ft tall. The tree has an angular crown and long, somewhat erratic branches. This tree is deep rooted which makes it tolerant to wind and snow damage. They grow best in moist soil, but are known to be very tolerant. Young specimens are often tall, slender, and sparcely branched, but with age the crown broadens. In the fall the leaves will turn a bright yellow before they fall often within as short a span as 15 days. Their combination of disease resistance, insect resistant wood, and their ability to form aerial roots/sprouts make them very longed lived. Some specimens in China are claimed to be over 2500 years old.

Being Dioecious, Ginkgos are either male or female. Males produce small pollen cones. Females do not produce cones, instead two ovules are formed at the end of a stalk and after pollenation one or both develop into seeds. The seed is 1-2 cm long, the outer layer is a yellowy brown flesh that is soft and fruit-like. It is attractive in appearance but contains butanoic acid (or butyric acid). The males are generally preferred in urban landscapes because the fruits from the females tend to be messy when they fall onto sidewalks and have a peculiar odor from the butanoic acid (often compared to a strong cheese). The kernel/seed (or Silver Nut) inside the fruit is considered a delicacy in the Orient. The fertilization of a Ginkgo occurs via motile sperm (as in Cycads, ferns, or moss), the sperm have a very complex structure. They adapt well in urban enviroments, tolerating pollution as well as confined soil space, for this reason as well as just being a beautiful tree they are often planted in streetside setting.


Used in both culinary and medicinal settings, the Ginkgo is thought by some to have health benefits and is also considered by others to be an aphrodisiac. However when eaten in large quantities for a number of years (especially by children) the meat of the seed can cause poisoning. Others are sensitive to the chemical in the outer fleshy part of the fruit, having symptoms similar to poison ivy. The extract of Ginkgo leaves contains flavonoid glycosides and terpenoids and have been used pharmaceutically. Medical trials have shown Ginkgo to be moderately effective in improving symptons in dementia patients, but not in preventing the onset of Alzhemiers disease in the average person. Used primarily as a memory and concentration enhancer, and anti-vertigo agent, even though some studies differ in results about its effectiveness. Ginkgos are truely an amazing species of tree all on their own, surviving and adapting for hundred of millions of years.


More Tree Facts www.ArundelTreeService.com or www.MeetaTree.com

Fatwood (Lightwood, Pine Knot, Rich Lighter or Fat Lighter)

Posted on April 2, 2018 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Fatwood is also known as Lightwood, Pine Knot, Rich Lighter or Fat Lighter originates from the heartwood of Pine trees (Coniferous tree sap). Stumps and Tap root remaining after a tree has fallen or been removed is a good primary source of Fatwood. The heartwood of Pines is impregnated with resins that make them rot resistant and hard. In woods settings Fatwood can also be harvested from the limb intersections and can be used as a firestarter. Most resinous Pines in the United States can produce Fatwood it is most commonly associated with Pinus palustris Longleaf Pine.

 

 

 

Terpene is one of the main components of Fatwood (Coniferous tree sap), it is a viscous liquid and a volatile hydrocarbon. Terpene is highly flammable and is used for both kindling and as a fire starter, even in wet conditions it will burn and maintain a high enough heat to light even larger pieces of wood. When using Fatwood to create tinder one would shave small curls and use them to light larger pieces of tinder, gradually working up to larger pieces of wood until a hot rolling fire is created. It is recommended that Fatwood not be used for cooking as the pitch soaked wood produces an oily sooty smoke that can transfer to foods.

 

 

 

Worldwide there are 100-125 species that can be classified as resinous pine trees around the world. Distributed around the world in various forms, some of those forms include Scots Pine, Siberian Dwarf Pine, Sumatran Pine, Jack Pine, Loblolly Pine and Caribbean Pine. The area with the most naturally distributed diversity in the genus is between Mexico and California. Fatwood can be found anywhere there is a pine tree or even an old pine stump, it is most concentrated and best preserved in stumps.

 

 

 

There are many uses for Fatwood and other resins outside of firestarting. Fatwood is used industrially in the production of turpentine, when fatwood is cooked down in a fire kiln. Steam that vaporizes from the cooking process and becomes a liquid, that liquid becomes turpentine. Cutler's resin is used in the production of knife handles. Resin is used as an ingredient in most nail polishes. Turpentine and Pine Oil are used in many common household chemicals.

 

 

 

For more tree facts or to learn more about the trees in your area visit our website www.ArundelTreeService.com or follow our Meet A Tree Blog https://arundeltreeservice.meetatree.com/" target="_blank">https://arundeltreeservice.meetatree.com/

 

 

 

 

Using wood chips in your garden - "Back to Eden Organic Gardening"

Posted on November 6, 2017 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (2)

Ever wonder how freshly ground wood chips can benefit your gardens at home.  Check out this documentary on the benefits of using wood chips in your organic gardens.  Not only to they help provide you with improved soil conditions but they help conserve water.   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rPPUmStKQ4" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rPPUmStKQ4


Why do we decorate Christmas trees?

Posted on December 25, 2016 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (1)

The custom of the Christmas tree developed in early modern Germany with predecessors that can be traced to the 16th and possibly even the late 15th century. Customs of erecting decorated trees in wintertime can be traced to Christmas celebrations in Renaissance-era guilds in Northern Germany and Livonia. Fir trees have been traditionally used to celebrate winter festivals by both Pagan's and Christian's for thousands of years. Pagans used Fir branches to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it reminded them to think ahead to Spring. The Romans used Fir Trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia. Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life with God. A Christmas tree is a decorated tree, usually an evergreen conifer such as pine or fir, traditionally associated with the celebration of Christmas.

 

Image Citation : Amy Gilliss, Arundel Tree Service

 

Each year, 33 to 36 million Christmas trees are produced in America, and 50 to 60 million are produced in Europe. In 1998, there were about 15,000 growers in America (a third of them are "choose and cut" farms, which allow buyers to select their tree before cutting it down). In that same year, it was estimated that Americans spent $1.5 billion on Christmas trees. Some trees referred to as living Christmas trees, are sold live with roots and soil, often from a nursery, to be stored in planters or planted later outdoors and enjoyed (and often decorated) for years or decades to come. In the past, Christmas trees were often harvested from wild forests, but now almost all are commercially grown on tree farms. Almost all Christmas trees in the United States are grown on Christmas tree farms where they are cut after about ten years of growth and then new trees are planted to begin the cycle again. Christmas trees are a large attraction for small mammals, birds and spiders as they provide nesting and shelter.

 

Though the why of decorating a Christmas tree may remain the same, the ways to go about doing it are limitless. Today you are not just limited to a classic evergreens with white or multi colored lights. Artificial trees have become very popular over the last few decades and are considered by most to be more enviromentally friendly (until they end up in landfills at least...). You can now purchase thousands of different sizes, colors, styles, themes and materials of artificial trees some even come with built in lights. For those of us who are a bit more tech savvy, lights can even be programmed to music and come in colors beyond the basic rainbow. The options are as endless as our imaginations, maybe this year your family will out-decorate the Griswold family! ;-)

 

More Cool Tree Facts www.ArundelTreeService.com or follow our blog www.MeetATree.com

The Quaking Aspen - Populus tremuloides

Posted on November 30, 2016 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

 

The Quaking Aspen - Populus tremuloides - is also called the Trembling Aspen, Golden Aspen or Mountain Aspen. With the smallest of breezes the leaves will flutter hence it's name. When fluttering the leaves even making an audible sound which would explain why the Onondagas called it the "nut-kie-e" which means noisy leaf. This tree has a very remarkable native range covering a majority of the Northern portion of the continent, ranging from New Foundland South to Delaware in the East and along the Coast of Alaska and British Columbia running South through the Rocky Mountains. Although it is not found in the South it does have one of the widest distributions of any tree in North America. It can be grown throughout hardiness zones 1-7. It is often times one of the first trees to appear after a Forest Fire. It is a fast grower often gaining 24 inches in a single season. Aspen wood Is used to make a variety of items such as wooden toys, tongue depressors, popsicle sticks, clothes pins, crates and even for paper pulp.

 

 

 


Image Citation (Stand): Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service (retired), Bugwood.org

 

The leaves are rounded triangles with small teeth along the margins. The leaves are a glossy green above and dull below, during the Spring they change to a vivid Yellow or very rarely Red. They are arrranged alternately on the branches. Catkins are long and silvery and appear between April and May. In the late Spring, it's tiny seeds which are enclosed in cottony tufts are dispersed by the wind. The bark is a Greenish-White to Grey in color, it is often marked with black knots or horizontal scars.

 

 


Image Citation (Fall Foliage): Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

 

The Aspen is a favorited food and shelter source for many different type of wildlife. The leaves and bark are eaten by Deer, Elk and Hare/Rabbits. The Buds are an important food source for Grouse during Winter. Beavers not only feed from the Aspen, they also use it's lumber as a building material. Many different birds and butterflies make their homes in these stands.

 

The Aspen holds the the title of largest living organisms on Earth, growing in clones/stand that reproduce primarily by sending up sprouts from their roots. For the most part each clone within a stand is connected to the next one through it's root system. One clone/stand in Utah (where it is the State tree) has been determined to have over 47,000 stems, this stand is estimated to weigh over 6,000 tons! While individually each stem lives 100-150 years, Aspen stands are one of the longest living organisms. One clone in Minnesota is estimated to be 8,000 years old, making it one of the longest living organism on Earth.

 

Meet More Trees www.ArundelTreeService.com or follow our blog www.MeetaTree.com

What is Oak Wilt?

Posted on November 21, 2016 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Oak wilt effects all Oak species, but has different results and signs with each group. Ceratocystis fagacearum is the fungal pathogen that causes Oak Wilt. It is a vascular disease, meaning the fungus is only found in the outermost xylem of the tree. This fungus is thought to be native of the Eastern US but the problems identifying and isolating it delayed the recognition of the true effects of the fungus until the 1980's. Oak wilt is a very aggressive disease, currently it is one of the most serious tree related diseases in the Eastern US-killing thousands of Oaks each year in both forest and landscape settings.

 

Oaks in the Red Oak family- such as Black, Northern Red, Northern Pin and others with pointed edged leaves are particularly susceptible and when infected usually die over the course of a single season-some declining to the point of complete defoliation in a matter of weeks. Infected Red Oaks will begin wilting from the top of the tree down, the leaves will gradually become bronze in color and fall off of the tree.


Oaks in the White Oak family- such as White, Swamp, Bur, or others with rounded edged leaves are less susceptible to Oak wilt and when infected can live for several years, losing only a few branches each season also from the top down. Symptoms in White Oaks are very similar to that of the Red Oaks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Live Oak however is not so predictable, it's infection level and timeline is effected by many other variables in the environment. Usually however, Live Oaks infected will die within a six month period from the first sign of decline. Lives Oaks foliar symptoms differ from those of the Red and White Oak. An infected Live Oaks leaves will develop chlorotic veins that eventually turn necrotic prior to falling from the tree.

 


Oak Wilt fungus spreads in two basic ways. Spores can be transferred from an infected tree to a healthy tree by insect movement or The fungus can move from the roots of an infected tree to those of a healthy tree through root grafts

 

Oak Wilt is very similar to Dutch Elm disease but considered to be more controllable. On good factor to consider is the nitidulid Beetles that carry the Oak Wilt Fungus do not have chewing mouth parts, so in turn would need another creature or a damaged portion of the tree to make the transfer. This is different from the Beetles that carried Dutch Elm disease, they do have chewing mouth parts and are able to enter any tree without help.

 

When an Oak has died from Oak Wilt, trees should be chipped and then burned or covered with plastic sheeting to speed composting. The heat from the chips composting should destroy or severely enervate the fungus. Logs from infected trees should never be moved to unaffected areas, even for use as firewood.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More at www.ArundelTreeService.com or www.MeetATree.com


 

Downloadable Oak Wilt fact sheets:

 

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsbdev2_043443.pdf

 

http://na.fs.fed.us/pubs/howtos/ht_oakwilt/identify_prevent_and_control_oak_wilt_print.pdf


 

 

Photos sources:

Joseph O'Brien, USDA Forest Service, bugwood.org (Photos# 1,3,4,6,7, & 8)

Forestthreats.org with Google Earth overlay (Photo #2)

Wikipedia (Photo #5)

 

The Yellowwood State Forest - Nashville Indiana (Where they have Boulders in their trees!)

Posted on October 29, 2016 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

In the quaint village of Nashville, Indiana near the Brown County State Park lies the Yellowwood State Forest. The Yellowwood State forest was organized in 1940 when federal lands were leased to the state of Indiana, this land was eventually deeded to the state in 1956. Over the years more then 2000 acres of abandoned and eroded lands within the Parks footprint have been planted with various Pines (jack, red, shortleaf, white and scotch), Black Locust, Black Walnut, White and Red Oaks. The Yellowwood Lake which covers 133 acres and is 30 feet deep at it's deepest point was completed in 1939, there are two other lakes within the park though much smaller in size (Bear Lake and Crooked Creek Lake). Over the years the Yellowwood State Forest has increased in size by gaining parcels of land through the Heritage Trust Program. Their are many activities to enjoy while visiting the Park including Fishing (a boat launch is located in the South end of the main lake), Hunting (Whitetail Deer, Ruffed Grouse, Turkey, Squirrel, Fox, Woodcock and Raccoon-valid Indiana Hunting license required), Primitive Camping, Horsemen's Camping (many miles of horse trails within the park), Gold Panning (must have permit), Hiking, Kayak/Canoe Rental and Picnicking. Today the Forest covers 23,326 acres, made up of 17 different areas all located within Brown County.

Yellowwood State Forest Map, Image Citation: Yellowwood State Park

 

The park was named for a tree common in the mid-south but rare in the area that is found growing in the park. The Yellowwood Tree - Cladrastis kentukea is a medium sized deciduous member of the legume family. With it's smooth elephant grey bark, pendulous fragrant flowers, and red/brown stems it offers beauty to any landscape year round. It is native to the Eastern United States, most notably two very small areas, one runs along the Kentucky and Tennessee border, and the other between Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. It is commonly planted in landscapes from New England south to Washington DC & Virginia. Yellowwood is hardy from zones 4a to 8b and can be purchased from most large nurseries in the Eastern US. The leaves are composed of widely spaced leaflets that are alternate not opposite one another. There are usually 9-11 leaflets per leaf. The leaves are a yellow green in Spring, bright green by Summer and then Yellow in the Fall. The wood of this tree contains a Yellow dye which stains the heartwood, hence the name Yellowwood. The flowers of the Yellowwood are very similar to Wisteria, they grow in a pendulous form and feature white fragrant flowers. The flowers are small and grow on open panicles ranging from 10-15 inches long. They are considered to be highly fragrant and appear in May. The flowers give way to long brown seed pods as the Spring Summer season changes. When mature this tree can reach heights of 30-50 feet and a spread of 40-55 feet wide. It is considered to be virtually pest free and quite hardy in it's native range. This tree is easily transplanted in B&B or bare root up to 2 inches in caliper. The Society of Municipal Arborist's named this tree the "2015 Urban Tree Of The Year", this selection was made based on it's adaptability and strong ornamental traits. Within the park there are less than 200 acres that can support the Yellowwood tree, these can be found on North facing slopes and deep ravines near Crooked Creek Lake. A specimen can also be found planted at the Forest Office on Yellowwood Lake Road.

 

Within the Yellowwood Forest there are some unique features. One of which is the Tecumseh Trail, named in honor of the Shawnee Chief who in the early 1800's attempted to ally several smaller tribes into one large confederacy. The trail spans the native lands of these tribes and has 5 trail heads within the forest. The trail covers various types of terrain and offers beautiful views of the Forest and Lakes. The second and most unusual is the 4 large sandstone boulders that are found not on the ground but in the canopies of Oak trees. It is said that the first boulder was originally discovered by a hunter and three more were discovered by hikers. The largest sandstone slab is 4 foot by 1 foot and thought to weigh as much as 400 lbs. Theories the boulders in trees phenomena range from natural things such as flooding or a tornado to the more extreme (or maybe unbelievable) including UFO's, Acoustic Levitation (where a rock becomes weightless), or even a good old Fraternity Prankster using heavy machinery, we may never know! No evidence of disturbance was found at any of the tree locations that would support the heavy machinery or tornado theories.



By Elizabeth Carey [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 


 

 

You can find the Yellowwood State Forest at:

772 South Yellowwood Road

Nashville, IN 47448

(812) 988-7945

 

 

The Kentucky Coffeetree -(Gymnocladus dioicus)

Posted on May 30, 2016 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (1)

The Kentucky Coffeetree -(Gymnocladus dioicus) - is a deciduous medium sized tree with large, coarse, wide hanging pods that are red-brown when ripe. It is best distinguished by it's large leaflets, large flowers, scaly bark and inflated fruit. At maturity it can reach 18-30 m tall and grows in an erect single trunked, with a low branching habit. The crown of the Kentucky Coffeetree is usually narrow or broad, pyramidal or rounded in shape. It is a member of the Fabaceae (Bean) Family and included in the very small Gymnoclaudus genus which only contains 2 species (the other is native to China).


 

The leaves are large up to 30 inches long, divided into pairs of opposite side stalks with 6-14 oval leaflets on each stalk. The flowers are greenish-white growing in large upright clusters at the ends of each twig. The bark is a reddish brown that becomes gray and irregularly fissured with age. The twigs are stout and reddish brown in color and hairy only when immature. The fruit is a tough, hard, inflated, red to brown woody legume that ranges in size from 15-25 cm long and 4-5 cm broad. Each woody legume contains 4-7 seeds that are hard coated and nearly round in shape.


The Kentucky Coffeetree grows in moist places, floodplains, riverbanks, bases of ravines and valleys. It is found in the Central and Eastern United States from New York and Massachusetts in the North, North Dakota in the West, Georgia, Alabama and Eastern Texas in the South. It is naturalized and planted as an ornamental further East. It grows best in rich, light soils. This species is unusually free of fungus, parasites and insect infestations. It is recorded that early settlers roasted the fruit of the Coffeetree for use as a coffee substitute, this is believed to be a possible origin of it's common name.


 Image Citations (photos 1, 2 & 3): Jason Sharman, Vitalitree, Bugwood.org (Node Affiliation: International Society of Arboriculture)

 

More Cool Tree Facts www.ArundelTreeService.com or Follow Us On Our Blog: www.MeetATree.com

Meet the Water Tupelo (Nyssa aquatica)

Posted on April 27, 2016 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (4)

The Water Tupelo (Nyssa aquatica), is best identified by it's combination of wetland habitat and and large very long stalked leaves. They can reach heights upwards of 100 feet tall and are deciduous in their native range. The Water Tupelo grows in a erect and upright form with usually only one single trunk.


Image Citation: Brian Lockhart, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

 

The bark of the Water Tupelo is grey and color and young twigs appear to have more of a reddish tone. The leaves are alternate, simple and ovate or oblong, wedge shaped or even heart shaped in some cases. The male and female flowers generally occur on separate trees and appear in compact clusters in the Spring. The fruit is oblong and dark blue to purple in color, borne singly on a conspicuous stalk, it matures in late Summer to early Fall.


Image Citation: Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org

 

The Water Tupelo is native to river swamps, floodplains, and lake margins from Virginia south to Northern Florida, West through Illinois and Southeast through Missouri, Arkansas and Eastern Texas.

The most similar species to the Water Tupelo is the Ogeechee Tupelo (Nyssa ogeche).

 

Meet more trees on our website www.ArundelTreeService.com or follow our blog www.MeetATree.com .

Meet the Tent Caterpillars

Posted on April 20, 2016 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

It is that time of year again where those mysterious little tents seem to form in our trees overnight. Have you ever wondered what they are and what they are doing in there?

 

 

Tent Caterpillars (Malacosoma) are a mid sized genus in the Moth (Lasiocampidae) family. There are species found in both North America and Eurasia. There are thought to be 26 different species (some having many subspecies), 6 of which occur in North America. They are considered by many to be pest as they have a nasty habit of defoliating trees. Tent caterpillars are considered to be one of the most social of all caterpillars often developing together within the same tent system. They are not only social but most often very colorful and are easily recognized by their silk tents built within the branches of host trees. Tent mates are often decided based on the foraging ability of each caterpillar. The Eastern Tent Caterpillar is the most common of the genus. Tent caterpillars hatch from their eggs in the early spring at the time the leaves of their host trees are just unfolding.

 

 

 


Image Citation: Robert L. Anderson, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

Some species of Tent Caterpillar build one large tent that houses them throughout the larval stages, while others build a series of smaller tents that are abandoned sequentially throughout the stages. Tent caterpillars establish their tents soon after they eclose. They always make their tents within the nodes and branches of trees in a location that catches the rays of the morning sun. Positioning of each tent is very critical as the caterpillar must bask in the sun during the early morning hours to elevate their body temperatures. If their body temperatures dip below 59 degrees farenheit their bodies are not able to perform the simply process of digestion. Each tent is made up of layers of silk that are separated by gaps, each individual compartment temperature can vary noticeably. The caterpillar can move between compartments to alter it's body temperature as needed.

 

 

 


Image Citation: Lacy L. Hyche, Auburn University, Bugwood.org

Tent Caterpillars are foragers searching out food and feeding to the point of repletion, once it has reached that level it returns to it's tent. Along the way each caterpillar leaves a trail for other tent mates to follow to a good food source. The chemical trail left behind in often compared to that of the ant or termite. Their development is greatly in tune with that of their host trees, once the leaves of the host tree reach maturity they are no longer to feed from them. They feed multiple times a day based on the needs of that level of the larval development. They often leave the tent in mass, and move together to feeding sites.

 

 

 


Image Citation: Lacy L. Hyche, Auburn University, Bugwood.org

 

Caterpillars grow at a very rapid pace and complete their entire larval process in a short 6-8 week period. Once they leave their tents they find a suitable location (often a protected area on the ground or a structure) to spin their cocoons. About two weeks after spinning their cocoons they emerge as adults moths. Shortly after this point the female moth excretes a pheromone attracting a male to her for the purpose of mating. After mating the eggs are then placed around branches and covered with spumaline, this material prevents the eggs from drying and protects them from parasites. Once the eggs are laid the female dies. The cycle of a female moths adult life may only last a short 24 hours while a male can live for a week or more. Within three weeks of egg laying, small larvae can be identified within each egg mass, these larvae will remain encased within their shells until the following Spring.

 

 

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Salvaging your trees and shrubs after heavy snow or ice.

Posted on January 22, 2016 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (3)

With what forecasters are calling a possible snow storm of the century just hours from arriving it is a little too late to take those extra steps to prevent possible storm damage to your trees and shrubs.  You can however be prepared for how to handle certain situations that may arise after the storm has passed.  The first thing to remember is DO NOT try to swat, beat, bang or knock heavy snow or ice off of your trees or shrubs.   They may be leaning over or look like they are going to break at any moment but you interefering with Mother Natures "process" will more then likely cause more harm then good, not to mention the risk you take of injuring yourself if the tree should give way and fall on you.....or cause the snow and ice load to fall on you..... It is just not smart either way you look at it so PLEASE don't try it!  In cases of small evergreens (Yews, Junipers, Hemlocks, Leylands, etc) and snow (not ice) you can gently brush snow off ot the limbs with a soft broom to help eliminate some of the weight from its branches, again please wait until after the storm has passed.


Image Citation: Amy Gilliss, Arundel Tree Service

If your trees are damaged remember, trunks, limbs and branches can in some cases be cabled or braced professionally (if the damage is not to severe).  If the damage is too much for cabling or bracing to correct, damaged sections may be able to be cut back to a safe point to save the remaining tree.   In cases of severe damage the entire tree may need to be removed entirely and replaced with a more sturdy option (Remember the right tree right place rule if you are replanting!).  When trying to determine if a tree is worth saving you need to considered not only the extent of the damage but the extent of the possible repairs and the overall value of the tree itself.  If your tree has a small amount of bark that is peeling, ripped or torn after a limb breaks off completely, do not try to cover the wound or repair it.  If it is hanging and pulling on the wound causing further damage, you can cut (with clean sharp trimmers) off just the loose/hanging portion, leaving a small portion loose near the edge of the wound (not cutting tight to the wound) be very careful not to pull or peel anything further from the tree. Trees have a natural process (CODIT) by which they heal themselves.  Covering wounds or interfering during the process could actually prevent this healing process from occuring.


Image Citation: Billy Humphries, Forest Resource Consultants, Inc., Bugwood.org

If your small tree or shrub begins to uproot it may be able to be uprighted and secured with stakes or guy wires.  Keep in mind that if more then 1/3 of the roots are damaged you may be fighting a losing battle.  Do not try to upright large trees, not with your truck, not with a come-along, and never with a ladder (yes we have seen the results of these attempts ad they are not pretty) - if the tree is too large to be lifted by natural human power then contact a professional and let them lead you in the right direction.  


Image Citation: Joseph O'Brien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

Some tree varieties are damaged more often during storms then others because of inherent structural weakness such as weak wood, weak roots or narrow crotch angles, these include but are not limited to Bradford, Cleveland and Aristocrat Pears, Elms, Poplars, Silver Maples and many common evergreens/conifers.  With these types of trees artificial support may be recommended to help prevent crotch or branch splitting or breakage. Of course, it is always best to plan ahead before storms arrive, look up at your trees often to monitor for any changes that may be cause for concern. Remember, trees are living, growing and changing, they require care maintenance and TLC to thrive!  Structural damage caused by wind and ice can usually be prevented by careful and through pruning including removing weak/diseased limbs, or limbs forming narrow crotches.  

You may reach us during an emergency (24/7/365) via email [email protected] or call our office during regular business hours (410)439-1900.  Stay safe if you must venture out during the storm, otherwise stay warm and enjoy the Snow Days to come!

You can always keep busy by reading our blog www.MeetaTree.com or exploring our website for more tree facts and tips! www.ArundelTreeService.com

Just in case you need a last minute Christmas Tree, here some tree farms in our area!

Posted on December 22, 2015 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (2)

Christmas Tree Farms - Maryland - Just in case you need a last minute tree!

Just in case you are looking for that last minute tree for your holiday celebration, here is a quick list of some local Tree Farms in our area.

 

 

 

Dent Creek Farm -

Churchton, MD. 410-867-2438


 

 

Friendship Trees - [email protected]

Friendship, MD 301-855-5756. or 301-641-9403


 

 

Greenstreet Gardens - [email protected]

Lothian, MD 410-867-9500


 

 

Hill Top Farm -

Lothian, MD. Phone: 301-855-8431


 

 

Modlin's Tree Farm [email protected]

Lothian, MD 20711. Phone: 301-643-3147


 

 

Shoo Fly Farm - [email protected]

Pasadena, MD 21122. Phone: 410-437-5251


 

 

Y Worry Pumpkin Patch & Christmas Tree Farm -

Davidsonville, MD 21035.


 

 

Blue Heron Tree Farm - http://www.blueherontreefarm.com/

Centreville, MD 410-758-0405


 

 

Davidson Christmas Tree Farm - http://www.davidsonchristmastreefarm.com/

Upperco, MD 410-239-6556


 

 

Gaver Farm - http://www.gaverfarm.com/christmas/christmas-trees/

Mount Airy, MD 301-865-3515


 

 

Linden HIll Christmas Tree Farm - http://www.lindenhillchristmastreefarm.com/

Upper Marlboro, MD 301-520-3127


 

 

TLV Tree Farm - http://www.tlvtreefarm.com/aboutus.html

Glen Elg, MD 410-489-4460


 

 

Chapel Hills Farm & Nursery - [email protected]

Perry Hall, MD 410-256-5335


 

 

Doyle's Choose and Cut - [email protected]

White Hall, MD


 

 

Feezers Farm, LLC -

Marriottsville, MD 410-461-5654


 

 

Frostee Tree Farm [email protected]

Perry Hall, MD 410-391-5113


 

 

Martin Tree Farm -

Baltimore, MD 410-374-2226


 

 

Mt.Carmel Tree Farm -

Parkton, MD 410-329-8032


 

 

Pork 'N Pine Christmas Tree Delivery Service - Precut Christmas trees, trees tied,

Federal Hill, Baltimore, MD 410-292-1111


 

 

Stansbury Christmas Tree Farm -

Jacksonville, MD 410-666-2531


 

 

Weber's Cider Mill Farm -

Parkville, MD 410-668-4488


 

 

Wild West Corn Maze -

Baldwin, MD 443-356-5245


 

 

Wind Swept Farm -

Upperco, MD 410-833-7330

 

The Christmas Fern - Polystichum acrostichoides

Posted on December 22, 2015 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (1)

The Christmas Fern - Polystichum acrostichoides - is often associated with the Christmas season and is of the most common ferns found in the Eastern United States.  Though it is not written in stone how it got it's name, some of the guesses are: the leaflets are described to be shaped like a sleigh or stocking,  it is one of the few woodland plants still green during the month of December/Christmas season, and it is often used in holiday decorating as greenery or in wreath construction.  


Image Citation: James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

It is found growing in a wide variety of locations and habitats, from shaded hillsides, to rocky cliffs, to wooded stream beds.  The native range is generally the Eastern portions of North America from Nova Scotia in the North, West through Minnesota, all the way down South from Texas in the West to Florida in the East.  Generally when found in the wild this fern grows in a fountain like clump that is made up of various size fronds. The clumps often grow in large colonial masses and may provide complete groundcover and even erosion protection.  The Christmas Fern resembles the Pacific Coast Sword Fern.  The Christmas Fern, is also popular as an ornamental plant for gardens and natural landscaping, because it is easy to grow and can be used in many settings and soils, even shaded areas under large trees where other plants may not survive/thrive. They are quite hardy, require little care, adapt to most growing conditions, and are also resistant to pests and diseases.  If you are looking for a very low maintenance plant that will add some green in your garden over the winter, then the Christmas Fern is definitely a good choice.


Image Citation:  James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

When young the crosiers (fronds) are curled and a silvery green in color before opening to reveal the mature fronds as the season progresses.  When the fronds first open they will still have a slightly curled appearance which will straighten with time.  Once completely open the evergreen fronds average 12- 32 inches long and are made up multiple green leaflets growing in a odd/alternate pinnate shape.  The number of leaflets on each frond greatly varies by the length of the induvidual frond.  


Image Citation:  David Stephens, Bugwood.org

Meet More Plants & Trees on our website: www.ArundelTreeService.com  or Follow Our Blog http://arundeltreeservice.meetatree.com/

Top Ten Christmas Tree Varieties

Posted on December 19, 2015 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

When visiting a Christmas tree farm, nursery or even the pop up/fenced side of the road lot (you know the one, it has the giant blow up snowman/santa waiting to greet you) one can often be overwhelmed by the selection of Christmas trees available for purchase. There are dozens of options when choosing a tree, we have compiled a list of the top ten trees and a little about each one to help make your choice a little easier. The top five trees are very close in sales numbers based on my research, their position on the list varies based on each particular region.

 

Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri), is the most popular Christmas tree sold in the United States: it has deep green colored short and flat needles. The aroma is considered by many to be strong and very long lasting. Fraser fir is a uniformly pyramidal shaped tree which reaches a maximum height of about 80 feet and a diameter of 1-1.5 feet. The strong branches are turned slightly upward which gives the tree a compact appearance and makes for good ornament support. Needled retention is very good on this variety. Fraser Fir has been used less for timber then other Fir varieties, because the difficult terrain on which it grows makes it tought to harvest. The wood is soft and brittle and may be used for pulpwood, light frame construction, interior knotty paneling, and crates.

Fun Fact: Fraser fir boughs have often been used for "pine pillows" and bed stuffing. This is a very interesting way of introducing the scent of fir to your home.

 

 


Image Citation: Bill Cook, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org

 

Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea), is a close second to the Fraser as they are very similar to one another. Balsam grows in an upright pyramidal form. The needles are flat and long lasting. On lower branches needles occur in two rows along sides of the branch, 3/4 - 1 1/2 inches long, spreading in form and not crowded. On older branches, the needles tend to be shorter and curved upward covering the upper sides of the twigs.

Fun Fact: The Balsam was named for the resin (also called balsam) that is found on the bark ridges and wounds, this resin was used during the civil war to treat wounds.


Image Citation: Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

 

Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), is also very close in numbers sold to the Balsam and Fraser. It is very fragrant with good needle retention. The needles are dark green to blue in color and range from 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. Needles are soft to the touch and radiate out in all directions from the branch. They have a sweet fragrance when crushed.

Fun Fact: The Douglas Fir is not a true Fir (not related), it has it's very own classification (Pseudotsuga).


Image Citation: Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service (retired), Bugwood.org

Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens Engelm.), is fourth in the top ten best sellers. It has dark green to powdery blue 1-3 inch long needles. It is well known to be the best for needle retention. The Colorado Blue Spruce is often sold balled and burlaped as a "live" tree to be planted after the holiday and enjoyed for many years to come. When young it grows in a nice pyramidal form, often spreading in form with age.

 

Fun Fact: The Colorado Blue Spruce is the state tree of both Colorado and Utah.


Image Citation:  Richard Webb, Bugwood.org

 

Scotch (Scots) Pine (Pinus sylvestris), is the most popular Christmas tree in the Pine family and the only to make the top ten. The dark green needles are 1-3 inches long and are retained on the tree even when completely dry. The scent is not as strong as some of the Firs but is very long lasting.

 

Fun Fact: The Scotch (Scots) Pine is currently the most commercially planted Christmas Tree in the United States.


Image Citation: Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

 

Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), is a favorite in the Southern portion of the United States. It has dark green, shiny needles that are prickly to the touch. The branches are compact and form a pyramidal crown, except in older trees where the shape is more broadened. The leaves are usually arranged in opposing pairs along the branchlets. It is a very popular choice on most "cut your own" farms. The Eastern Red Cedar is a very aromatic option.

 

Fun Fact: The Eastern Red Cedar is not a true cedar, it is actually a member of the Juniper (Juniperus) family.


Image Citation: Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

 

White Spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss), is a regional favorite in the North Eastern United States and Canada. It has one of the best "wild" shapes on "cut your own" farms. The needles are a bluish-green in color and are poorly retained by the tree once it is cut. When crushed the needles have a unpleasant odor. The thick limbs hold ornaments (even heavy ones) very well.

 

Fun Fact: The White Spruce is the state tree of South Dakota


Image Citation: Bill Cook, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org

 

White Pine (Pinus strobus), must be mechanically trimmed to make into the pyramidal shape desired for most Christmas trees. It is most poular in the Mid-Atlantic United States (where it is commonly/naturally grown). The weaker limbs do not hold ornaments very well. This variety is very popular with allergy sufferers who can not handle the stronge aromas of most Christmas trees. Needles are soft, flexible, bluish-green to silver green in color and are regularly arranged in bundles of five. Needles are 2 1/2-5 inches long and are usually shed at the end of the second growing season. The White Pine has great needle retention with little to no noticable fragrance. White Pine lumber is has always been very valuable. The soft, light colored wood warps and checks less than many other species. The wood is used to craft cabinets, interior trims, and for carving.

 

Fun Fact: Early Native Americans used the inner bark as a food source, later colonists used the inner bark as an ingredient in cough remedies.


Image Citation: Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

 

White Fir (Abies concolor), is sometimes mistaken for a Pine as it has the longest needles of all Fir trees. The narrow needles are around 1 - 1 ½ in. in length and occur in rows. They have good foliage color, good needle retention, and a pleasing shape and aroma. White fir has one of the largest ranges of any of the Western Firs. It can be found from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and New Mexico to the Coast Range in California and Oregon.

 

Fun Fact: The lumber from the White Fir is used for decking, pulp production, plywood, framing, crating, beams, posts and mobile home construction.


Image Citation: Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org

 

Virginia Pine (Pinus virginiana), is the newest list maker and has not been used as a Christmas tree for nearly as long as the others. It is an alternate to the Scotch Pine in the South and has become the most affordable Christmas tree variety in that same region. The needles are a dark green to gray and are supported by stout branches, these branches hold even heavy ornaments very well. They are fast growers and can be harvested as Christmas trees in as little as 3-5 years. Thought they have many benefits that make them popular on downside is they must be mechanically shaped to have a pyramidal form.

 

Fun Fact: The Virginia Pine is a rapid grower, often times even considered to be somewhat invasive growing in some not very favorable locations. This rapid growth and hardiness gives it an edge when planted on sites that have been recently clear cut or even mined.


Image Citation: Vern Wilkins, Indiana University, Bugwood.org

 

Meet more trees on our website: www.ArundelTreeService.com or follow us on our blog www.MeetaTree.com

 

What is Mistletoe? - Phoradendron spp.

Posted on December 17, 2015 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Broadleaf Mistletoe (Phoradendron spp.) is an evergreen plant that is parasitic in nature, it grows freely on a variety of large landscape trees. Some deciduous host trees of broadleaf mistletoe include Apple, Ash, Birch, Boxelder, Cottonwood, Locust, Maple, Oaks Walnut and Zelkova to name a few. Conifers are not found to often be host of the Broadleaf variety, but can host the dwarf varieties.

 

Mistletoe plants often develop in rounded form and can reach upwards of two feet in diameter. The plants develop small whitish colored berries that are sticky to the touch. Mistletoe plants are leafy and evergreen becoming most visible in the winter when the deciduous host trees have dropped their leaves. The plants are either female (berry producers) or male (pollen producing only). Many birds feed on the berries and excrete the living seeds which stick to any branch they land on. Older and large trees are often the first to be infested because birds prefer to perch on higher limbs. The down side of this is a heavy build up of mistletoe is most likely to occur in these same larger trees as the birds enjoy feeding on the berries of the mature Mistletoe plants. Often times growths in the upper branches will drop seeds to the lower sections below, spreading the growth even more. Dwarf Mistletoe does not spread in the same way as Broadleaf, instead it's seeds are forcibly discharged from the fruit, dispersing up to 40 feet away.


Image Citation: Paul A. Mistretta, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

 

 

 

Once a seed is in place the seed will germinate, during this time it will begin to grow through the bark of the tree and into the tree's water conducting tissues. Within the tissues, structures similar to roots form, they are called haustoria. Haustoria will spread as the parasitic bush grows and spread. Young growths are slow growing and may take years before they bloom for the first time, their succulent stems become woody over time at the base of each growth. Even if an entire visible growth is removed from it's host plant, it will often resprout directly from the haustoria that is embedded into the host. On the other hand dwarf mistletoe is not woody when mature and is segmented with small scale-like leaves.


Image Citation: Randy Cyr, Greentree, Bugwood.org

 

Mistletoe can be harmful to a tree that is already weakened but generally does not harm normal, healthy trees. It is possible for individual limbs and branches from healthy trees to become weak or die back. In instances of heavy infestation the entire tree may be stunted, weakened or killed if there are other factors such as disease or drought.

 

The most effective way to control mistletoe is to remove the infested branches, this will eliminate the haustoria which will prevent re-sprouting. Infested branches must be cut at least 1-2 feet from the base of attachment to be sure you are removing all of the haustoria from the inner tissues of the host. In cases of heavy infestation it may be recommended to remove the entire tree as you can not safely remove more then a portion of the trees crown without causing severe damage or death to the tree itself. If you are not able to prune the tree to eliminate the growth, completely removing the visible mistletoe growth annually will often help limit the spread as only mature growths can produce seeds.\

More Cool Tree Facts: www.ArundelTreeService.com or  follow our blog:  www.MeetaTree.com