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It's official. August is Tree Check Month. So, what are you waiting for? Check out our tree checkup suggestions and get outside to inspect your trees!

It’s Time for a Tree Checkup!

August 7, 2014

Can you believe summer will end in just over a month?!

Soon enough, we’ll be dusting off our winter coats, building a giant snowman in the yard and cozying up next to a warm fire with a sweet cup of hot cocoa. It may be hard to picture right now in the middle of August; the dog days of summer, when outdoor temperatures tend to kick up a notch. In fact, you probably prefer the air conditioned comfort of your home.

But in these next few months, when the chilly air and overcast days arrive, we may be wishing for the month of August to return. We will dream of warmer days spent outdoors, the kind of moments we are enjoy with a fruity Popsicle in the afternoon and by catching glowing fireflies at night.

With that in mind, remember to head outdoors to soak up the last bit of the summer sun. But don’t forget about your outdoor friends that cannot momentarily escape the unpleasant conditions outdoors at any given time—your trees! Put your day to good use by checking up on them today!

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has officially named the month of Tree Check Month. Start with these steps and reminders for your tree’s next checkup:

Pests that are more than just pesky

The USDA recommends tree owners to get outside and take a look at their trees for just 10 minutes. In such a small amount of time, you could save your tree’s life. Two pests that you should check for—emerald ash borer (EAB) and Asian longhorned beetle (ALB)—are destroying trees in several regions of the U.S. and Canada.

1)     Emerald ash borer: More than one million ash trees in the U.S. and Canada have been harmed by EAB. In just 10 minutes, you could visually detect the signs of an EAB infestation and immediately call an arborist for help. The infestation can be recognized on ash trees by D-shaped holes or shallow S-shaped trails under the bark.

2)     Asian longhorned beetle: Another pest that is harming the health of trees is ALB. As summer winds down, the infestation reaches its height; August is the peak month for ALB emergence. The insect has an approximately one-inch body, long black and white banded antennae, a shiny, black body with white spots and six legs. These pests burrow deep in the tissues that carry water and nutrients throughout the tree. In turn, the tree then starves, weakens and eventually will die. Unlike EAB, which attacks only ash trees, ALB is after many trees, including willow, poplar, mountain ash, mimosa, maple and many more.

Early detection is key to helping your trees survive EAB and ALB infestations. Now that you’re spending your last few weeks of summer swimming in the pool, taking a walk in the park or picnicking in your backyard, take a few minutes to inspect the trees near you. The sooner you catch these pesky pests, the better chance your tree will have for treatment and survival.

Preparing for wicked weather

When inspecting your trees for pests, you can check them for any damage that has already happened. But what about weather conditions that may take place in the future?

Before summer storms start brewing, decrease their threat to damage your trees by performing a quick, simple checkup.

This August, get out and check your tree for problematic conditions that may escalate as summer storms begin to hit. Take the following precautions to help your trees stay safe, healthy and happy:

1)     Prune for safety: Hurricane season is here, which means overwhelming, destructive winds and serious rain. Any unsafe branches on your trees, whether they’re weak, brittle branches or adjacent branches that are rubbing together, can pose harm. When the tropical storms of late summer begin to brew, unsafe branches can fly off trees, which can harm your property and the health of your tree. Cable, brace, prune or remove any limbs or branches that are unsafe. By doing this before the last of summer storms hit, you will not only save yourself time and money, but also your tree’s health.

2)     Rid of rot and cavities:  It makes sense: The weaker the tree, the less of a chance it stands against Mother Nature. If you find that your tree has cavities in its trunk, keep in mind that its entire structure is weakened. The same goes for rotting roots, trunks or branches. You already know to prune for weak limbs or rubbing branches, but also be aware of branches and trunks that may be rotting, which in turn, will cause a weak structure.

Now that you know what to check for, take some time outdoors to care for your trees. We are given countless benefits from trees all year long, from sun protection to energy bill savings. Trees are always giving to us, so let’s give them 10 minutes of our time to help prolong or even save their lives!

If you are unsure how to checkup on your trees, contact your local, professionally trained Davey arborist. We would be happy to help you check your trees and prepare for a healthy conclusion of the summer during Tree Check Month! 

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