The practice of tree topping is on the increase again in our area. Topping is cutting a tree to a certain height by stubbing the branches. This practice is extremely harmful to trees, and will lead to long term problems with tree health.
Topping is performed by untrained tree companies who care little about tree health management. It may take several years of corrective pruning to restore the tree’s crown. Topped trees are more susceptible to storm damage and branch failure.
Ironically, the main reason trees are topped is to make them safe. The exact opposite occurs. Please hire reputable Certified Arborists to prune your trees.
Late fall is an excellent time for tree planting. Dormant trees will continue to promote root growth. This allows better root recovery with no stress to support leaves. Trees should be already dormant before digging. Bare root or traditional ball and burlap can be used.
Wood rot fungal fruiting bodies are highly visible this time of year, especially following high moisture. These are an indicator of serious decay in roots or trunk of trees. Have trees looked at and evaluated for risk.
Emerald Ash Borer has been confirmed in Wyoming County. The whole state is under quarantine for wood products coming and leaving PA. Monitoring efforts continue in all counties of the state.
Water newly planted trees at least 3 times weekly with 10-20 gallons of water. Continue watering until normal rainfall occurs.
As trees leaf out several pests tend to appear.
Gypsy Moth larvae will start to feed on new leaves. Severe infestations can defoliate trees quickly. Luckily cool wet weather will reduce the pest population due to disease. Trees will also recover better with adequate moisture.
Forest Tent Caterpillar is very similar to Gypsy Moth. This pest was severe in the Northern Tier Counties last year (2010)
Anthracnose Several species of trees are susceptible to a fungal disease called Anthracnose. Sycamore is the most obvious with new leaves being destroyed as the emerge. The tree continues to push out new leaves. Oak, Ash, and Maples species also are attacked by Anthracnose. During cool we springs and early summer leaves will become spotted and deformed and will fall from the tree. All forms of Anthracnose are spread by rain water splashing. Rake and destroy all fallen leaves to contain an infestation. Anthracnose will disappear when the weather warms up and dries out. The fungus remains dormant as spores which will sporulate when environmental conditions are right.
Heavy storms can weaken the structure of some trees. Support systems can help damaged trees stay together for several years after the damage occurs. These systems can also be installed to help prevent storm damage.