Author Archives: Noel Boyer

Retention Through Engagement

We all know how hard it is to find good help right now. While hiring great help is a challenge, it’s just the first part of building a great staff. Your company is probably a mix of experienced help, untrained new hires and everything in between. Maybe you are still trying to figure out which members of your team you want to retain and which ones you might need to “release to their destiny.” When do you start to invest in an employee’s long-term future in your company? More important, how are you going to retain your best people?

Compensation, security, growth and management are just a few pieces of the employee-retention puzzle. Another element, and the one I want to focus on most for this article, is engagement. When employees are engaged, it means they are fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work. They are more likely to take positive actions to further the organization’s reputation and interests. Engaged employees feel they can make a difference and want to be a part of something larger than just their own position. Engaged employees are happier and more productive and are connected with each other.

Before I lay out some strategies to get your team more engaged, I must confess that I have failed in this endeavor numerous times in my own company. I have a small team of 13 people, and we have a very low turnover rate. Most of my employees have been with me for more than five years. But on several occasions, I have kept a productive employee around who I was not able to engage in our ethos of teamwork and constant improvement. Sure, they could climb a tree and operate machinery, but their unwillingness to buy in and become a part of our team culture led to other crew members not wanting to work with them and a general negative attitude within the ranks. Employee retention cannot be about keeping every employee; it has to be about keeping and engaging the best people and removing the ones who damage your company spirit.

Some of the basic tenets for engaging your employees are:

• Employees who understand their goals and how they relate to the company’s goals are more engaged.

• Employees who receive regular feedback and rewards are more engaged.

• Employees who are given opportunities to grow, learn and advance are more engaged.

I know, I just made it sound so easy. But we all know that none of these are as easy as they sound. I will share a few ways we have found to accomplish these goals in our company, with the disclaimer that what works in our culture may not work in yours. Because we are such a small company, we are able to employ many informal practices that may not be possible in larger companies. Engagement looks different in every company!

Having employees participate in tree-climbing competitions can be part of your investment in advancement. Climbers learn new tricks and techniques, while other crew members become emotionally engaged because of their exposure to a much larger view of our industry. TCIA staff file photo.

When it comes to understanding goals, there are countless ways to accomplish the task. I used to work at a company where each employee’s production was posted on a chart on the wall, where you could see your goals and compare them to others’. It worked there, but I chose a different route for our company because of my concerns that that system might cause more emphasis on competition within the company than teamwork and common goals.

We operate as an “open-book” company, so any employee can see where the money comes from and where it goes at any point in time. This gives all employees a better view of the big picture, and we welcome ideas from all team members on how we can be more efficient and profitable. As the company grows and becomes more profitable, all team members reap the benefits. Last year, every employee in our company received two raises because of their engaged efforts to raise the bar on quality and production.

For number two, feedback and rewards, we are always looking for better ways to let each team member know where he or she stands. To be honest, this practice is a very difficult one to manage in a company of any size. Part of the issue is that some team members really want to have the formal written employee review, while others prefer to just be pulled aside for a conversation about improvement – or a very public, kick-ass high five in front of everyone for their successes. We try to do a combination of both, although it is a struggle to make the time for formal reviews.

One other reward we use in our company is called “F-yeah Friday.” There are many weeks when we all get to the end of the day on Friday and everyone can just feel that we have had a really great week. We all gave 100%, nothing got broken, quality was top-notch and we worked safely. While there is no numeric formula that designates it as an “F-yeah Friday,” it is a feeling of team accomplishment that leads to the occasional unexpected meeting at the end of the day where everyone gets a few hundred dollars of cash from my checking account and a frosty beer while we talk about what our weekend plans are. While I eat the expense personally, it is worth it to provide them immediate feedback and reward for high performance as a team.

Of the three engagement tenets above, I most enjoy giving my crew opportunities to grow, learn and advance. One of our strongest cultural values is personal improvement. We encourage and reward credentialing. Because of the focus we put on certifications, we have two ISA Board Certified Master Arborists and seven more ISA Certified Arborists in a company of 13 people. While it takes time to get the ball rolling, I have found that once you get buy-in from a few, the interest in becoming certified becomes contagious. Another part of our investment in advancement is our company participation in the tree-climbing championship circuit. As a former competitor, I know how the competitions fueled my fire as I grew as an arborist. Now we have a company bus we take to several comps each year (except this year, as all were canceled!), and most of our team either compete or volunteer at the events. After every trip, the climbers on the crew can’t wait to use the new tricks and techniques they learned. The crew members also become emotionally engaged because of their exposure to a much larger view of our industry, instead of seeing only our little corner of the world.

I have many friends in the tree care business who have even better employee-retention rates than our company, and in every case, the reason is that their team is fully engaged and pushing together to be a success. Unfortunately, there is not room in this article to compile all the methods being implemented, but I am excited to have shared a few things that have worked well within our team. I encourage you to think of ways you might look past the usual tools of employee retention, like compensation and benefits. We will almost always find employees who are willing to stay if the money is right, but employees driven solely by income can poison your company’s culture. It is also unfortunate that some good employees will leave your company for personal reasons, even after you have trained them to proficiency. While it is disappointing to see a good employee leave after you have trained them, your company will suffer more if you don’t invest in them and they never go away.

Retention Through Engagement

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When Do You Fire a Bad Customer?

We’ve all had experiences with a customer who, no matter what you do, you just can’t make happy. Maybe you didn’t prune enough, maybe you pruned too much. The price was too high, the grass got torn up or you made them go inside because they kept entering the drop zone under the trees. Regardless of the complaint, they claim their expectations of how the job would be done were not met.

The very first step is to look within the company first. Did the salesperson do a good job of communicating the right expectations? Were the specifications for the job written clearly, with concise details of the work to be performed? Did the crew do exactly what was on the work order? Were they careless in protecting the customer’s property? Were they polite and willing to listen to the client’s complaints, and make every reasonable attempt to make them happy?

In many cases, we discover that we didn’t do a good job of building the right expectations, and then we must engage in conflict-resolution strategies. It also leads to us writing more verbose specifications, especially if we anticipate that the client may be difficult.

Sometimes, after all these assessments have been looked at honestly, we discover that we are working for a person who is simply unreasonable. I have had numerous clients through the years who make it a practice to complain after every single job. I have had customers (often lawyers!) who refuse to pay for the beautiful deadwooding job we did, because they actually just wanted the tree topped. I have been burned to the ground in online reviews over trees that weren’t ever discussed or included on the work order.

In our company, we make every reasonable effort to resolve these issues. Our reputation is our second-most valuable asset – our employees, our first. We do have a limit, however, to how much we will let someone take advantage of our good spirit.

We keep a list of exceptionally difficult clients so that when or if they call back, we simply tell them we are politely bowing out, and they will need to find a new provider. If a client is mean or cussing at my office staff, they immediately get fired as a customer. While we don’t like losing the income from this type of client, we have always found a boost in morale when we announce to the staff that they will never have to endure them again.

Continuing to work for such unreasonable clients is certainly setting your team up for failure.

More at:

When Do You Fire a Bad Customer?

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Proper Pruning in Late Winter

Proper pruning in late winter leads to strong, lush trees and shrubs in the springtime

Pruning cuts are made slightly beyond the branch collar.

Pruning cuts are made slightly beyond the branch collar. COURTESY OF JOHNSON COUNTY K-STATE RESEARCH & EXTENSION

BY DENNIS PATTON for Kansas City Star (MO), FEBRUARY 12, 2020 03:42 PM

Does pruning strike more fear in your heart than a trip to the doctor? Pruning sounds complicated, but once you understand the basic guidelines, the rest falls into place.

PROPER PRUNING IN LATE WINTER – KNOW WHERE TO MAKE THE CUT

Most people hesitate knowing where to make the cut. Discerning “where” does not mean which specific limb needs to be removed. It means where precisely on the branch the cut is to be made.

Every pruning cut should be made at the point where there is another branch, fork, crotch angle or new bud forming. Making the cut at a growth point reduces the chance of decay and uncontrolled growth. Directing new growth is the goal of pruning, not merely pruning to remove growth.

Pruning to this juncture removes tall overgrown limbs, reduces plant height and thins out the plant. When extreme weather impacts our neighborhoods, pruning will reduce the weight of snow, ice and wind, which can lead to branch failure.

The energy that once supported the removed limb is now channeled into the growth of the remaining limbs. It is important to understand the concept of directional pruning.

The direction of the remaining limb or bud will point to where the growth will head. Attempting to control height? Prune to a side-pointing limb. Need to reduce spread? Prune to an upward pointing limb. Tired of the low-hanging limb hitting you in the face? Find a branch growing upward. See how this works?

Removing a limb back to another branch thins out a tree or shrub for better light penetration and less wind resistance. Not only does this apply to shade trees, but flowering and fruit trees as well. More sunlight penetrating the plant will lead to more flowering and fruit development.

HOW TO MAKE THE CUT

Now that you are confident in knowing where to make the cut, the next step is to do it properly. Pruning is an injury to the plant or tree, wounding the wood. The goal is to quickly heal the wound with a correctly made cut.

Pruning cuts are made slightly beyond the branch collar, where a layer of cambium growth has the ability of rapidly sealing off the cut. The branch collar is the raised, rough growth of bark tissue at the crotch angle. Remember, the cut is always made back to a branch angle.

Try to avoid cutting to the outside of the branch collar as it will leave a slight bump. We want to steer clear of creating a stub, a longer piece of wood sticking out. Stubs do not heal and lead to decay or uncontrolled growth. Cutting too close results in a flush cut, which removes the bark collar, leaving a bigger wound. A larger wound is slower to seal and increases the chance of decay.

Tree pruning is done in late winter before new growth. The lack of foliage reveals problem areas, making it easier to know which limbs to remove. Spring is a time of rapid growth for quick recovery. Now go forth and prune. I have confidence in your abilities.

Dennis Patton is a horticulture agent with Kansas State University Research and Extension. Got a question for him or other university extension experts? Email them to [email protected].

https://www.kansascity.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/kc-gardens/article240239351.html


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Anatomy of a Tree

Leaves

Leaves carry out photosynthesis, making food for the tree and releasing oxygen into the air. And this tells us much about their shapes. For example, the narrow needles of a Douglasfir can expose as much as three acres of chlorophyll surface to the sun.

The lobes, leaflets and jagged edges of many broad leaves have their uses, too. They help evaporate the water used in food-building, reduce wind resistance and even provide “drip tips” to shed rain that, left standing, could decay the leaf.

Branches and Twigs

Branches and twigs grow out of the tree trunk and serve as support structures for leaves, flowers and fruit. They also transport materials between the trunk and the leaves.

Trunk

The trunk of a tree is made up of five different layers.

Anatomy of a Tree
  1. The outer bark is the tree’s protection from the outside world. Continually renewed from within, it helps keep out moisture in the rain and prevents the tree from losing moisture when the air is dry. It insulates against cold and heat and wards off insect enemies.
  2. The inner bark, or “phloem,” is the pipeline through which food is passed to the rest of the tree. It lives for only a short time then dies and turns to cork to become part of the protective outer bark.
  3. The cambium cell layer is the growing part of the trunk. It annually produces new bark and new wood in response to hormones that pass down through the phloem with food from the leaves. These hormones, called “auxins,” stimulate growth in cells. Auxins are produced by leaf buds at the ends of branches as soon as they start growing in the spring.
  4. Sapwood is the tree’s pipeline for water moving up to the leaves. Sapwood is new wood. As newer rings of sapwood are laid down, inner cells lose their vitality and turn to heartwood.
  5. Heartwood is the central, supporting pillar of the tree. Although dead, it will not decay or lose strength while the outer layers are intact. A composite of hollow, needlelike cellulose fibers bound together by a chemical glue called lignin, it is in many ways as strong as steel. Set vertically, a 1″ x 2″ cross section that is 12″ long can support twenty tons!

Roots

roots

Contrary to popular belief, tree roots are typically found in the top three feet of the soil. They also expand well beyond the dripline, often occupying an area two to four times the size of the tree crown.

A tree’s root system works to absorb water and minerals from the soil, anchor the tree to the ground, and store food reserves for the winter. It is made up of two kinds of roots: large perennial roots and smaller, short-lived feeder roots.


“Anatomy of a Tree.” Advanced Search-The Tree Guide at Arborday.org, The Arbor Day Foundation, www.arborday.org/trees/TreeGuide/anatomy.cfm.


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Deer Damage

Deer Damage to Trees and Landscape

One of the most frustrating things to deal with this time of year is having a deer snack on your beloved plants! Even if you are the type of person to tolerate deer damage because you love them, beware!  Deer are creatures of habit.  Once they feel safe, and find a tasty snack they will visit regularly.

An increase in deer populations and a decrease of their natural habitat have set up a situation in which your favorite landscapes become alternative food sources for deer.  As winter approaches and food sources become scarce, feeding on leaves, stems, and buds of plants become more apparent.  Male deer also cause damage by rubbing their antlers along the trunks of trees, stripping off bark. Deer should be discouraged immediately.  Trees and shrubs can suffer permanent damage.  Deer damage is usually identified by the torn or jagged appearance of branches

There are four ways to discourage deer: Fencing, repellents, predators, and deer-resistant plants. 

Fencing requires you to enclose your entire yard with a fence at least six feet tall. This is not necessarily an aesthetically pleasing option and also not cost effective. In some cases, you can put barrier fencing around these individual plants. While it is still unsightly, protecting a tree while it is young is important. 

Homemade and commercial repellents are common control methods to discourage deer, but their effectiveness vary. Snow and rainfall wash them away, so frequent applications are needed. Also, if food sources are scarce, deer may simply ignore the repellents, despite the taste or odor.

As far as predators go, a  noisy dog is a good deer deterrent.  If you don’t have a dog, you can hang shiny tape from branches, or place inflated balls, and other moving objects in the yard to startle deer with sudden movement.  You’ll have to rotate these frequently, however, or deer will soon realize that they are not in danger from these objects.

 If they are hungry enough and food is scarce enough, deer will eat almost anything.  However, there are a number of plants that deer don’t find particularly palatable.  Using these plants in your landscape is often the most cost-effective, least time consuming, and most aesthetically pleasing solution.

Below is a list of trees and shrubs not favored by deer.  However, resistance of any plant species may change due to environmental factors.

 

TREES

Common Name                                               Scientific Name

Bald-cypress                                                     Taxodium distichum

Beech                                                                 Fagus spp.

Birch                                                                   Betula spp.

Catalpa                                                              Catalpa spp.

Chestnut                                                            Castanea spp

Dawn redwood                                                 Metasequoia glyptostroboides

Giant arborvitae                                               Thuja plicata

Ginkgo                                                                Ginkgo biloba

Ironwood                                                           Ostrya virginiana

Japanese tree lilac                                            Syringa reticulata

Larch                                                                   Larix spp.

Black locust                                                       Robinia pseudoacacia

Honey-locust                                                     Gleditsia triacanthos

Redbud                                                               Cercis canadensis

Sassafras                                                            Sassafras albidum

Smoke tree                                                        Cotinus spp.

Sourwood                                                          Oxydendrum arboreum

Sweet-gum                                                        Liquidambar styraciflua

Spruce                                                                Picea spp.

Sycamore                                                          Platanus occidentalis

Tulip tree                                                          Liriodendron tulipifera

 

Shrubs

Common Name                                               Scientific Name

Boxwood                                                           Buxus spp.

Leatherwood                                                    Dirca palustris

Coralberry/Snowberry                                    Symphoricarpos spp.

Forsythia                                                           Forsythia spp.

Japanese kerria                                                Kerria japonica

Common lilac                                                   Syringa vulgaris

Oregon grape-holly                                         Mahonia aquifolium

Smoke bush                                                     Cotinus spp

Spicebush                                                         Lindera benzoin                     

Spirea                                                                Spiraea spp.

Carolina allspice                                              Calycanthus floridus

Witch hazel                                                       Hamamelis spp.

 

Ground Covers

Common Name                                               Scientific Name

Barren strawberry                                           Waldsteinia fragarioides

Bergenia                                                            Bergenia cordifolia

Bugleweed                                                         Ajuga reptans

Bunchberry                                                       Cornus canadensis

Catmint                                                              Nepeta x faassenii

Epimedium                                                        Epimedium spp.

Ferns                                                                   Numerous species

Hens and chicks                                               Sempervivum spp.

Juniper                                                                Juniperus spp.

Lady’s mantle                                                    Alchemilla mollis

Lamium                                                              Lamium spp.

Lily of the valley                                               Convallaria majalis

Lily turf                                                              Liriope spicata

Lungwort                                                           Pulmonaria spp.

Mosses                                                              ————–

Pachysandra                                                      Pachysandra spp.

Potentilla                                                            Potentilla spp

Sedum                                                                Sedum spp.

Snow-in-summer                                              Cerastium tomentosum

Sweet woodruff                                                Galium odoratum

Vinca                                                                   Vinca minor

Violet                                                                  Viola spp.

Wild ginger                                                        Asarum canadense

Wild strawberry                                                Fragaria spp

 

Perennial Vines

Common Name                                               Scientific Name

Akebia                                                                Akebia quinata

Bittersweet                                                       Celastrus scandens

Clematis                                                            Clematis spp.                          

Grape                                                                 Vitis coignetiae

Honeysuckle                                                     Lonicera spp.

Ivy, Boston                                                        Parthenocissus tricuspidata

Silver lace vine                                                Polygonum aubertii

Trumpet creeper                                             Campsis radicans

Virginia creeper                                               Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Wisteria                                                             Wisteria sinensis

 

Hardy Bulbs

Common Name                                               Scientific Name

Autumn crocus                                                 Colchicum autumnalis

Crown imperial                                                  Fritillaria imperialis

Daffodil                                                               Narcissus spp.

Grape hyacinth                                                 Muscari spp.

Glory-of-the-snow                                            Chionodoxa luciliae

Ornamental onion                                           Allium spp.

Siberian scilla                                                    Scilla sibirica

Snowdrops                                                        Galanthus nivalis

Winter aconite                                                  Eranthis hyemalis

 

Annuals and Biennials

Common Name                                               Scientific Name

Ageratum                                                          Ageratum houstonianum

Alyssum                                                             Lobularia maritima

Candytuft                                                          Iberis sempervirens

Forget-me-not                                                 Myosotis spp.

Four o’clock                                                       Mirabilis jalapa

Foxglove                                                            Digitalis purpurea

Heliotrope                                                         Heliotropium arborescens

Larkspur                                                            Delphinium spp.

Lobelia                                                               Lobelia spp.

Marigold                                                            Tagetes spp.

Mimulus                                                             Mimulus spp.

Morning glory                                                   Ipomoea spp.

Moonflower                                                       Ipomoea spp.

Nasturtium                                                        Tropaeolum majus

Petunia                                                               Petunia spp.

Poppy                                                                 Papaver spp.

Salvia, Sage                                                        Salvia spp.

Snapdragon                                                       Antirrhinum majus

Stocks                                                                 Matthiola spp.

Sunflower                                                          Helianthus annuus

Sweet William                                                   Dianthus spp.

Mexican sunflower                                          Tithonia rotundifolia

 

Hardy Perennials

Common Name                                               Scientific Name

Monkshood                                                       Aconitum spp.

Anemone                                                           Anemone spp.

Artemisia                                                           Artemisia spp.

Astilbe                                                                Astilbe spp.

Bee Balm                                                           Monarda spp.

Bergenia                                                             Bergenia cordifolia

Black-eyed Susan                                              Rudbeckia hirta

Butterfly weed                                                  Asclepias tuberosa

Columbine                                                         Aquilegia spp.

Coreopsis                                                          Coreopsis spp.

Cranesbill                                                          Geranium spp.

Fleabane daisy                                                 Erigeron x hybridus

Foam flower                                                     Tiarella cordifolia

Gentian                                                              Gentiana spp.

Geum                                                                 Geum spp.

Goldenrod                                                         Solidago spp.

Hellebore                                                           Helleborus nigra

Hens & chicks                                                   Sempervivum spp.

Hibiscus                                                             Hibiscus spp.

Iris                                                                       Iris spp.

Jacob’s ladder                                                   Polemonium caeruleum

Rose campion                                                   Lychnis coronaria

Marsh marigold                                                Caltha palustris

Meadow rue                                                     Thalictrum spp.

Meadowsweet                                                  Filipendula spp.

Peony                                                                 Paeonia spp.

Phlox                                                                  Phlox divaricata

Pinks                                                                   Dianthus spp.

Purple coneflower                                            Echinacea purpurea

Rock cress                                                         Arabis caucasica

Russian sage                                                     Perovskia atriplicifolia

Salvia, sage                                                        Salvia spp.

Sedum                                                                Sedum spp.

Shasta daisy                                                      Chrysanthemum

Snakeroot                                                          Eupatorium rugosum

Sneezeweed                                                      Helenium autumnale

Snow-in-summer                                             Cerastium tomentosum

Speedwell                                                          Veronica spp.

Toadflax                                                             Linaria spp.

Valerian                                                              Valeriana officinalis

Violet                                                                  Viola spp.

Yarrow                                                                Achillea spp.

 

 

Herbs

Common Name                                               Scientific Name

Angelica                                                             Angelica archangelica

Artemisia                                                           Artemisia absinthum

Basil                                                                   Ocimum basilicum

Borage                                                               Borago officinalis

Catmint                                                              Nepeta x faassenii

Chamomile                                                       Matricaria spp.

Chives                                                                Allium schoenoprasum

Comfrey                                                            Symphytum x rubrum

Dill                                                                      Anethum graveolens

Fennel                                                               Foeniculum vulgare

Feverfew                                                           Tanacetum parthenium

Germander                                                      Teucrium chamaedrys

Hyssop                                                              Hyssopus officinalis

Lamb’s ears                                                      Stachys byzantina

Lavender                                                          Lavandula angustifolia

Lemon balm                                                    Melissa officinalis

Mint                                                                  Mentha spp.                                       

Mullein                                                             Verbascum spp.

Oregano                                                           Origanum vulgare

Parsley                                                             Petroselinum spp.

Rosemary                                                        Rosmarinus officinalis

Rue                                                                   Ruta graveolens

Sage                                                                 Salvia officinalis

Savory                                                              Satureja montana

Tansy                                                                Tanacetum coccineum

Thyme                                                              Thymus spp.


Works Cited: 
Plants not favored by deer. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2019, from https://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-and-plant-advice/horticulture-care/plants-not-favored-deer.

Click here to view our Certified Arborists in Springfield MO!

Please call the office of All About Trees at (417)863-6214 to schedule an estimate. Business hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.

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Seasonal needle drop

Seasonal Needle Drop in Trees

We’ve noticed an increase in calls concerning yellowing needles in customer’s evergreens, especially White Pines. However, the “problem” is simply seasonal needle drop in trees. This is a normal and natural process in evergreen trees. Every year, evergreens experience a seasonal needle drop that is a normal part of the plant’s cycle. Older needles on the inside of evergreen trees are shed each fall after they turn yellow, brown, or reddish-tan in color. Sometimes this natural process is very subtle and goes unnoticed because only the innermost needles area affected. The change can be gradual, or, with some species, quite rapid. Seasonal needle drop in trees can cause concern to homeowners who are not familiar with this natural occurrence.

White pines show the most dramatic needle drop change! Their annual loss of needles can be especially alarming, as the number of yellow needles outnumbers the tree’s green growth. This can be very worrying to a tree owner! Typically, white pines will retain needles for three years, but in autumn, 2-or-3-year-old needles will change color and drop, leaving only the current season’s growth still attached.  

So if you are seeing your evergreen trees drop yellow needles, this is part of their natural process. However, if you are seeing widespread decay within your tree, then please call the office to schedule an estimate at the phone number listed below. We will be more than happy to take a look at your trees to ensure their health and wellbeing. 

To learn more specifics on seasonal needle drop, please visit https://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-and-plant-advice/horticulture-care/seasonal-needle-drop

 

Click here to view our Certified Arborists in Springfield MO!

Please call the office of All About Trees at (417)863-6214 to schedule an estimate. Business hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. If we miss your call, please leave us a detailed voicemail message with your name, address, phone number, email, and your tree concerns. 

Source

“Seasonal Needle Drop.” Seasonal Needle Drop | The Morton Arboretum, www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-and-plant-advice/horticulture-care/seasonal-needle-drop#:~:text=Every%20year%2C%20evergreens%20experience%20a,part%20of%20the%20plant’s%20cycle.&text=Many%20evergreen%20needles%2C%20as%20they,with%20some%20species%2C%20quite%20rapid.

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Arborist pruning a tree

Mature Tree Pruning

Mature tree pruning removes dead and dying branches to maintain plant health and safety

All About Trees is a full-service tree care company, and one of our services is the pruning of mature trees. Thinning and raising are two types of tree pruning that should be performed periodically. It works to improve the form and shape of the plant, to eliminate interference with objects and structures, and to compensate for structural weaknesses. Thinning is the removal of live branches to reduce density. Research shows that thinning significantly reduces wind resistance and subsequent storm damage. This leads to healthier trees less prone to breakage, which will lead to a longer-lasting tree.

The pruning of lower branches, known as raising, can be used to increase the amount of light to turfgrass and ground covers beneath the crown of a tree. This will allow homeowners to improve the health of other plants within their yards, and improve tree health. In evergreen trees experiencing fungal issues, a small crown raise can be used to increase the airflow under the tree to reduce fungus. This also allows the tree limbs to be lifted off the ground, making the direct spread of fungus more difficult.

All About Trees arborists are trained to evaluate the condition of your trees and determine the type(s) of pruning required. We aim to balance your goals and those of managing plant health and safety. If you would like an estimate to have your trees pruned, please call the office at 417-863-6214. Our office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. If you miss us, please leave us a detailed voicemail message with your name, address, phone number, email, and tree concerns.

To learn more about the services we offer, please go to https://allabouttrees.com/tree-services-tree-trimmers-springfield-mo/

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FALL COLOR

Predicting the peak of fall color can be difficult. Missouri is blessed with a great variety of trees, shrubs, and vines. Their leaves turn at different times, so Missourians enjoy a fall color season that may last four to six weeks. Sassafras, sumac, and Virginia creeper are some of the earliest to change, beginning in mid-September. By late September, black gum, bittersweet, and dogwood are turning.

The peak of fall color in Missouri is usually around mid-October. This is when maples, ashes, oaks, and hickories are at the height of their fall display. Normally by late October, the colors are fading and the leaves beginning to drop from the trees. Fall color is usually finished by the middle of November.

The progression of color change starts earliest in north Missouri and moves southward across the state. Generally, the color change is predictable, but it can vary from year to year. Much depends on the weather.

WHERE’S THE BEST PLACE?

You can enjoy Missouri’s fall color almost anywhere.

  • For spectacular vistas, choose routes along rivers with views of forested bluffs, and along ridges with sweeping scenes of forested landscapes.
  • On a smaller scale, drive on back roads, hike, or take a float trip under a colorful forest canopy on a clear, blue-sky day. Visit MDC Conservation Areas and Missouri State Parks.
  • Even treeless areas, such as prairies and roadsides, display beautiful shades of gold, purple, olive, and auburn with autumn wildflowers, shrubs, and curing, rustling grasses.
  • If you can’t get out of town, enjoy places with mature trees, such as older neighborhoods, parks, and even cemeteries.

Find events on your route

The Missouri Division of Tourism’s online calendar is packed with events happening all across Missouri this fall. Find those along your preferred routes.


MDC Discover Nature. (2019). Fall Colors. [online] Available at: https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/fall-colors [Accessed 26 Sep. 2019].

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Emerald Ash Borers

Emerald Ash Borers : Pest 101

Be on the lookout for emerald ash borers. The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a serious threat to ash trees in Missouri. This invasive pest will eventually kill unprotected ash trees. Many trees can be saved with the careful use of systemic insecticides. However, not all ash trees should be treated, and for many locations the start of treatments should be delayed. This guide will assist you in making decisions about protecting your trees from this invasive pest. Find more information at eab.missouri.edu.

In the Ozarks, we are proud of our trees. But a small insect is putting our beautiful ash trees at risk. The emerald ash borer is an invasive pest that will eventually kill unprotected ash trees. Treating your tree early can help save it.

Here are a few signs to know if emerald ash borers have affected your tree:

  • D-shaped exit holes about 1/8″ wide.
  • Winding, s-shaped tunnels just under the bark.
  • New sprouts on the branches and lower trunk.
  • Increased woodpecker activity on the tree.
  • Sparse leaves and/or branches dying in the upper part of the tree.

To identify when is the best time to treat or cut your ash tree, check out this PDF from the Department of Conservation.

 

 


 

Give us a call if you’d like to be added to our calendar for a yearly maintenance check of your trees!

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All About Trees Plant Health Care Program

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