Davey Tree Service Blog: Tree Care Tips & Checklists

  • Fear of the Swarm

    Within the past few weeks, we've finally witnessed some consistency among the temperatures we experience day-to-day. They have warmed, telling us summer is near, and, at last, we can breathe a sigh of relief.

    But just when we assume summer will wash all our worries away, the creepy crawlies that have burrowed beneath our landscapes for nearly two decades detect that same warmth and emerge, their metallic tin-pan shriek reminding us that our trees might require a bit of extra attention.

    Once the ground temperature reaches above 64 degrees, 13- to 17-year-old periodical cicada broods surface from below to breed. We expect a majority of this year's cicada brood - which could contain millions of cicadas that emerge in the same synchronized generation - to affect trees within states along the East Coast. States that predict an encounter with an excessive cicada population include Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, as well as Washington, D.C.

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  • 20/20 Vision

    I could stare at fall foliage for hours at one time, mesmerized by its variety and vibrancy.

    It's exciting to witness the transformation from a lustrous, yet static, bright green canopy to a cornucopia of color among the leaves. The warmer shades of the color spectrum begin to take over, with a few glimpses of purples and plums sprinkled in throughout the leafy scenery.

    But when the winds begin to pick up, even the slightest breeze detaches a few fragile leaves from surrounding tree branches - one by one - gradually revealing the bark and hinting winter is near.

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  • Windy Cities

    When powerful winds come through with a storm like Hurricane Isaac, they can do more than just cause a bad hair day. They can delay flights, cause power outages and result in varying kinds of damage to trees, ranging from foliage loss to broken limbs.

    Trees differ in their ability to withstand strong winds. The density and strength of the wood, the branch structure and expanse of the roots are factors influencing wind tolerance.

    Ways to minimize storm damage to your trees include pruning to reduce deadwood and canopy density, along with installation of flexible steel support cables to strengthen weak or problematic branch unions. These are not a guarantee but are proven to minimize wind damage.

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  • Just a Trim, Please

    Put a pair of scissors in your hands, and whether you're cutting coupons or bangs, there's always the potential to oversnip. It's almost too easy to make a mistake as you clip, clip, clip away - removing a little more on this side and a bit more on that side.

    Just like with a bad haircut, there is nothing more noticeable than a poorly pruned plant - pieces sticking out in all directions, a butchered shrub, a tree that looks like the top has been sliced off. The good news is that just as the perfect haircut can frame the face and improve a person's appearance, the same can be said for a professional tree pruning job.

    Pruning is not only a science, but an art form. The science aspect of pruning involves understanding tree biology, recognizing plant flaws and skillfully eliminating or minimizing defects. The artistic aspect of pruning consists of removing dead wood while aesthetically shaping the tree.

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