In the Shade

About this Blog

If you’re into trees as much as we are, this page is for you. To us, trees are home, a secure and comforting haven. When their leaves rustle, their bodies sway in the wind and their crowns cast wide shadows, it makes us smile. Here, you’ll find our musings on trees, tree facts and news, tree photos, tree videos and other thoughts focusing on our passion for our greatest natural resource. Join us in the shade.

Shedding Light on a New Kind of Champion

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Believed to be thousands of years old, the Texas madrone national champion tree has quite an impressive story to tell.

Out in the towering, rigid mountains of Texas grow magnificent, distinct trees that are stretching their limbs and shedding their bark. These trees are not wounded like others that may lose their bark from injury or disease; instead, they’re about to reveal new, colorful apricot shades or brassy skin tones underneath the surface. As these unique Texas madrone trees extend tall and wide, they leave their old bark behind to continue a one-of-a-kind growth process.

The Texas madrone has quite an impressive story to tell; many believe it’s thousands of years old. Scientists are astonished with this tree species because of its ability to hold its own in an ever-changing environment. Some describe the Texas madrone as relict, meaning that even as the surrounding environment transforms over time, this national champion tree continues to stay the same.  The trees’ native home has become drier and warmer than what it once used to but with its relict nature, the madrone has never migrated from its original habitat like other trees such as the longleaf pine or yellow birch.

Big tree admirers can find the national champion Texas madrone in the Chisos Mountains of Brewster County, Texas. The national champion is recorded at 27 feet tall with a 93-inch trunk circumference. Although most trees appear on the National Register of Big Trees list due to their massive size, the Texas madrone earns such recognition for different reasons.

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Enjoying Summer? Make Sure Your Trees Are Enjoying It, Too, With These Dos and Don'ts

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You know your trees need water to survive the heat of summer, but did you know it's possible to over-water, too?

Summertime is what many of us wait for; the warm weather, the sun and pleasant afternoons spent outside. This is the season in which we can finally step outdoors and take the time to stretch out our bodies and minds after a long, harsh winter.

We spend hours dangling our feet into the pool with a cold drink nearby. We dig out our shorts, sunglasses and sandals, and head to a park to enjoy a picnic full of summer fruits, like watermelon, cherries and peaches.

We look forward to the summer all year long, but do our trees look forward to it, too?

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You Won't Believe What Your Tree is Doing For You!

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Some tree benefits are less obvious than others. Check out two TREE-mendous infographics to learn more about what your trees can do for you.

Trees are our friends. Think about it; they let us climb on them and swing from their limbs. They shade us, provide us with food and oxygen and help reduce pollution and floods. The list goes on and on. Trees are always there for us. In fact, trees provide us with environmental and energy saving benefits that we may have yet to even realize. Mindboggling, isn’t it?

Check out some of these amazing tree benefits. And, afterward, you just might want to get outside and hug a tree.

Trees Are Environmental Protectors.

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How Do Trees Give To You?

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Maier Tree & Lawn, a Davey company, turned leftover wood from a tree removal into a bench for an annual charity gala. "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein reminds us to be grateful for one another by sharing the story of a young boy who grows old with his tree.

“And when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade. And the boy loved the tree very much. And the tree was happy.”

This quote, from Shel Silverstein’s book, “The Giving Tree,” illustrates perfectly how some of our summers may be going: relaxing under the protection of a tree that is constantly providing us with shade, nourishment and beauty. 

“The Giving Tree” is written around a central message, told through a story of a boy growing old with his tree. It’s about remembering to be thankful for one another. As a result of reading and enjoying the book, people have created family handprint trees or fingerprint trees to represent their bonds.

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Davey Tunes in to Talk EAB Advice on Air

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Davey's Ron Hegner (center) greets Pittsburgh's KDKA NewsRadio 1020 "Talking Trees" hosts Jessica Walliser and Doug Oster.

Haven’t you heard? This summer, Davey is broadcasting tree care tips live on Sunday mornings. If you’re in search for tree care advice, then turn no further than Pittsburgh’s KDKA, NewsRadio 1020 station every other Sunday for tree care tips and tricks. At 7:30 a.m. EST throughout this summer and fall, listeners can hear Davey district managers on “Talking Trees” to learn about different tree care topics for homeowners. Discussions include emerald ash borer emergence, how to plant a tree and ways to prepare trees for dangerous summer storms.

In a recent segment, Ron Hegner, district manager at Davey’s North Pittsburgh office, appeared on “Talking Trees” to share information about the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB).

He talked to listeners about how to protect trees from EAB infestations, how to care for trees that have already been affected and the ultimate fate of the ash trees. Here’s a deeper look into his conversation with KDKA radio.

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A Look at Some of Our Favorite Trees: Whispers from a Plains Cottonwood

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The national champion plains cottonwood tree stands tall in Ravalli, Montana.

As a breeze picks up in the night air, leaves from every treetop near and far rustle together to render soft, swishing sounds. But nothing sounds quite like the whisper of a plains cottonwood’s glossy, shimmering leaves sighing in the wind, as if waves were crashing along the shore in the distance.

The plains cottonwood was one of the only trees that assisted early American settlers as they forged across the middle of the country. Historic records document the sizes of these massive trees over so many years that the species is recognized on the National Register of Big Trees.

The plains cottonwood national champion tree caught the attention of American Forests in 1967 when the species’ largest documented tree at the time measured approximately 11.5 feet in trunk diameter. The tree stood in Hygiene, Colo. While searching for a new champion more recently, however, arborist Mark Lewing found the plains cottonwood he was looking for in Ravalli, Montana.The new champion was added to the National Register of Big Trees—a list of 768 champions sponsored by The Davey Tree Expert Company.

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It's Almost Summer! Bring on the Color.

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Wondering how your landscape can benefit from annuals? Davey's Commercial Landscape Services Division has some tips for you!

There is nothing more fulfilling on an early summer morning than gazing out your window to witness the sunlight glinting off of the dew on the rich reds, bright yellows and cheerful orange blossom in your garden. As spring becomes summer, annuals add lively, robust pops of color to the scene, making it even more breathtaking then it was when those first green buds emerged.

Annuals bring color to the landscape, as well as versatile planting options; one can plant them in an existing flower bed, a decorative container or a window box. Once planted, these showstoppers continue to make an impression through fall and can be planted in a variety of soils and weather conditions.

Though they can serve as adaptable, hearty options, the primary motive for planting annuals is to add sunny shades, taking the garden from drab to dramatic.  While many believe color is, perhaps, enough reason to plant annuals, it is certainly not the only one. 

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The No. 1 Step for Summer Picnic Prep

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You won't regret spending a bit of time prepping your landscape for a picnic this weekend.

It's time to celebrate warm weather and sunshine. What better spot to throw a party than your own backyard?

Memorial Day weekend kicks off the season for picnics and parties on your patio. Increasing temperatures and extended daylight hours entice you to welcome your friends, family and neighbors to your home and share stories and laughter together. Children chase each other through the grass for a game of tag then dash through the sprinkler to cool off. Adults surround the grill and catch up, then prepare for a campfire in the yard.

After all, it's summertime. A time to have fun with the people you love, without a worry in sight--except you want your landscape looking its best for when your visitors arrive. You envision a thick, green lawn padding the feet of your friends that walk your lawn to admire your clean flower beds, bright blossoms and tall trees.

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