The past two (2) years, 2014 and 2015, I have managed to scan through Lant’s daily arborist journal. Occasionally I post entries that I feel are significant regarding weather related problems, insects, and diseases and how all three are inter-related.

I will continue this practice during year 2016.


Operations Director

Sunday April 24, 2016

Scale is a serious pest of Pine trees.

I always begin to look closely in early to mid-May at Scotch pines. The needle scales appear as whitish when looking at a distance; when viewing at a closer distance these scale insects are about 1/8" in length and are in the "crawler stage". The insect (at a later stage in life) virtually sucks the nutrients from the tree and in high populations can eventually kill the tree.

Tuesday March 15, 2016

Soon the buds on the trees will be noticeable as they begin to swell and likely by mid-April the leaves will begin to break through the bud structures. The advent of all of this will bring a whole myriad of insects and predators to the leaves, branches and trunks of the trees.

Insects do more than chew and suck on leaves; they also bore into the trunk in an attempt to extract sugar from the sapwood just under the bark. The consequence of the invasion of insects to the trees leaves and / or sapwood is the introduction of pathogens or disease into the system of the tree. Also, the flow of water and nutrients is often disrupted by wood boring insects damaging the conducting vessels . . . and this annual cycle begins another year in the life of a tree.

Friday January 22, 2016

Today at a lecture series I was asked “What’s going on with the spruce?” It seems this is one of the most common questions in tree programs across Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin.

I believe that spruce trees are experiencing three (3) different diseases: Rhizosphaera needle cast, Cytospora canker and Sneed.

I recommend any individual who may be experiencing abnormal needle loss in their spruce to pull these diseases up on the internet for a more introspective insight to common spruce diseases.

Remember, there could be other causes as well to the decline of your spruce trees; also note that pine trees are not spruce trees.

Wednesday January 6, 2016

Today while in the woods I evidenced a green ash tree with black clusters of growth about ½ to one inch, and the given appearance is of an irregular cluster growth at or near the buds.

Ash Flower Gall is caused by a mite, specifically eriophyid mite. I see this malady usually in May, June or July and after the mite has over wintered near buds, the mites attack the male flowers as they are opening in the spring.

The appearance then, is a green irregular shaped cluster, only to turn black during dormant season. I know the greatest fear is emerald ash bore; this malady, called ash flower gall is not life threatening but very unaesthetic and unpleasing to view in the winter or summer months.

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