Category Archives: Tree Cutting Service Springfield MO

Pest Watch: Japanese Beetles

japanese beetle

Japanese beetle life cycle. Credit: Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements

The Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica, has emerged to wreak havoc on your shade trees. Native to Japan, Japanese beetles are an invasive species that was first detected in the United States in 1916 (Rainbow Treecare, 2021). Due to its lack of predators in the US, it has been able to quickly spread and become rampant.

japanese beetle

Close up of Japanese beetle. Credit: Arborjet.

You can identify the Japanese beetle based on its iridescent appearance, with a green head and copper wing coverings. It has small tufts of white hair along the outside of its wing coverings. It has a glossy appearance

The beetle feeds on over 400 species of shade trees and bushes (Rainbow Treecare, 2021). The beetle feeds by eating the leaf matter in between the leaf’s veins, leaving a skeleton appearance. If this happens to enough leaves, the beetles can easily kill your trees and shrubs, as the plant will no longer be able to photosynthesize. The beetles send out a signal to other beetles when they have found an acceptable plant host, sending more beetles into your yard.

japanese beetle damage

Japanese beetles feeding on leaf. Credit: The Tree Center

So how do you get rid of Japanese beetles? One effective solution is a combination of a soil injection as well as a foliar spray to take care of any live beetles currently feeding on the leaves. It is important to begin foliar sprays at the beginning of adult feeding on plant matter, otherwise, the infestation can grow out of hand as beetles send out signals that attract even more beetles. If you think you have a Japanese beetle infestation, please contact our office at 417-863-6214 and we can schedule an estimate for our Plant Healthcare technician to take a look at your trees and discuss your treatment options.

 

Sources:

“Japanese Beetle.” Arborjet, 23 July 2020, arborjet.com/problems_solutions/japanese-beetle/.

“Japanese Beetles Diagnostic Guide.” Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements, 2021, www.treecarescience.com/tree-problems/insects-mites/japanese-beetles-diagnostic-guide?utm_source=Rainbow&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=navigator&dm_i=41N9%2CEQRW%2C5LNQWP%2C1JTLZ%2C1.

Masons, Fergus. “How to Get Rid Of Japanese Beetles.” The Tree Center, 2 Mar. 2016, www.thetreecenter.com/how-to-get-rid-of-japanese-beetles/.

 

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Dutch Elm Disease

What is the Cause of Dutch Elm Disease?

Dutch elm disease (DED) is caused by an aggressive fungus (Ophiostoma novo-ulmi) that kills elms regardless of their health. It is considered the most costly shade tree disease ever and will remain active in a community as long as there are susceptible trees. The fungus invades the water transporting vessels and produces toxins to which the tree reacts. In defense to the toxins, the tree produces gums and internal growths designed to block the advance of the fungus. The combination of the toxins and the defense mechanisms of the tree inhibit water flow to the crown, which causes wilting and tree death.

How Does Dutch Elm Disease Spread?

Female elm bark beetles lay their eggs beneath the bark of dead and dying elm trees. If the elm is infected with Dutch elm disease the newly hatched beetles will emerge from the tree carrying the deadly fungus on their bodies. The beetles fly to healthy trees and feed on its 2 – 4 year old branches, thereby spreading the disease.

Besides beetle transmission, Dutch elm disease may also be spread through grafted roots. When elms grow in proximity to each other, their roots can come into contact and graft together. This common root system provides the fungus with a pathway to spread through an entire stand of healthy elms very quickly.

What are the Symptoms of DED?

Dutch elm disease symptoms begin to develop 4 – 6 weeks after infection. The first noticeable symptom that results from the fungal occupation of the water-conducting vessels is wilting or “flagging” of one or more branches, usually starting at the branch tip. Leaves on infected branches turn dull green to yellow, curl, and become dry and brittle. As the infection spreads the wood beneath the bark displays brown discoloration.

What Can I do if My Tree is Already Infected?

Most infected elms cannot be saved. In rare cases, if the fungus has not moved into the root system, physically cutting out infected portions of the tree, with a process called tracing, can save the elm.

Sanitation is the most important tool for controlling Dutch elm disease on a community-wide basis. It involves the identification and removal of diseased elms. Such practices eliminate beetle breeding sites and reduce the number of disease-carrying beetles.

Root Grafts

Dutch elm disease can pass from infected trees into healthy trees through grafted roots. Macro-infusion of Arbotect does not prevent root graft infections. The only way to reliably prevent root graft transmission of the fungus is to physically sever the common root system.

How Can I Protect my Elm Tree?

The goal when protecting elms from the fungus is to evenly and completely distribute a fungicide chemical thorough the entire canopy of the tree.

  • To protect a tree from beetle-transmitted fungal infection, Arbotect fungicide must be evenly and completely distributed throughout the 2 – 4 year old branches.
  • The only way to get even distribution is by the tree injection method called macro-infusion. Macro-infusion injects a large volume of solution into the root flares of the tree. This solution is then transported throughout the canopy providing a protective fungicide barrier.
  • Arbortect fungicide does not protect elms from root graft infection. You need to physically server the root system from neighboring trees by trenching at least 36″ down.

Source: Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements, 2005.

Want to read more about tree diseases and pests? Click here to read our article on Emerald Ash Borer, an equally destructive scrouge to trees.  

All About Trees is caring for Springfield’s urban forest, one tree at a time. 

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Retention Through Engagement

Below is an article Noel, our owner, recently wrote for TCI Magazine on employee 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 importantly, 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.

If you would like to read this article on the TCI Magazine website, click here!

All About Trees is caring for Springfield’s urban forest, one tree at a time. 

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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.

Hire all about trees

Noel cutting a tree limb, which is part of the tree removal process.

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: https://tcimag.tcia.org/news-opinions/when-do-you-fire-a-bad-customer/

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Jumping Oak Gall

Jumping Oak Gall FOREST HEALTH ALERT From the Missouri Department of Conservation

Tree species affected: White oak (Quercus alba) primarily, and some other white oak group species.

Concerns: Leaves on entire crowns of white oak trees turning brown in late spring. In some areas, whole hillsides appear brown.

Description: High populations of a very tiny, native, stingless wasp (Neuroterus sp.) cause pinhead-size galls (abnormal plant growths) to form on the undersides of leaves. Each round, button -like gall contains one wasp larva. Starting at the margins, brown, scorch-like areas appear on leaves where many galls are present. In more severe cases, leaves curl up, turn black, and drop early from trees. Effects of the damage become noticeable in late spring or early summer and remain visible until fall.

Most galls drop from leaves in early summer. Brown pockmarks remain where galls had been attached. Fallen galls are sometimes observed to “jump” due to vigorous movements of larvae within, much like moth larvae of “Mexican jumping beans.” This behavior allows galls to fall deeper into grass and leaf litter where they are sheltered throughout the coming winter.

Many species of gall wasps have two generations per year. It is assumed that the jumping oak gall wasp in Missouri has a similar life history with one generation lasting only a few weeks in early spring and rarely being noticed. The second generation extends from spring through the following winter and causes most of the leaf damage. Outbreaks typically last for one or two years and then fade away as natural controls reduce gall wasp numbers again.

Similar Leaf Issues: In years with cool wet springs, fungal diseases can be abundant on trees and may also cause leaf browning. Anthracnose is common on white oak foliage in those conditions. Botryosphaeria twig canker causes leaves on infected small branches to wilt and turn brown, which results in “flagging” in the canopy during the summer. Typically, twig bark shrivels and turns brown where the canker occurs, near the junction with healthy tissue.

Recommendations: Galls and fungi that affect oak leaves rarely have a significant impact on tree health. Nearly all trees will recover, even if all leaves are brown. Controls are not warranted. By the time the damage is observed, any opportunity to treat has already passed for that year, and populations are likely to decline naturally. However, severe leaf damage stresses trees, particularly if most leaves on a tree are killed which results in a second flush of leaves emerging in summer. The best tactic is using good tree care practices that reduce stress (mulching, watering during drought, avoiding wounds due to lawnmowers and trimmers).

Questions? Contact your local forester with the Missouri Department of Conservation. Find contact information for your county and more at mdc.mo.gov.


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Please 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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Treating Ash Trees To Prevent Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, is an exotic beetle from Asia that was discovered (in North America) in the summer of 2002. The adult beetles nibble on ash foliage, causing little damage. However, the larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients, eventually killing the tree.

The emerald ash borer most likely arrived in the United States on solid wood packing material carried in cargo ships or airplanes arriving from Asia, and has most likely spread by hitchhiking on firewood transported among homes and recreation areas in at least 34 states.

emerald ash borer

In addition to Missouri, the emerald ash borer has been found in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, as well as, the provinces of Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec in Canada.

Since its discovery in the US, the emerald ash borer has:

  • Killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in at least 34 states.
  • Caused regulatory agencies to enforce quarantines and fines to prevent potentially infested ash trees, logs or firewood from moving out of areas where EAB occurs.
  • Cost municipalities, property owners, nursery operators and forest products industries millions of dollars.

Emerald Ash Borer. (n.d.). Retrieved May 22, 2019, from https://agriculture.mo.gov/plants/pests/emeraldash.php


Emerald Ash Borer. (n.d.). Retrieved May 22, 2019, from https://agriculture.mo.gov/plants/pests/emeraldash.php

What if you have an ash tree?

Take action before removal is your only option! If you have an ash tree, you have the choice to protect or remove your tree(s). We recommend that residents consider protecting large, well-placed, healthy private ash trees as part of an EAB treatment program.

Considerations for Treatment:

  • Tree size greater than 10” in diameter.
  • The Tree is not competing with other trees or infrastructure.
  • The Ash tree shows no more than 30% of canopy decline if an infestation is suspected.

Managing Ash Trees. (n.d.). Retrieved May 22, 2019, from https://www.rainbowtreecare.com/emerald-ash-borer/managing-ash-trees/


To better address situations such as these, All About Trees has created a Plant Health Care (PHC) & Integrated Pest Management Program.

Objectives of All About Trees Plant Health Care & Integrated Pest Management Program:

  • All About Trees is focused on appropriate care for trees and shrubs, using safe, effective, and well-timed visits and applications.
  • We only administer treatments as deemed necessary, and never try to just “make a sale” of pesticide applications. 
  • All About Trees uses the safest methods for application, using as much systemic products as possible, and never doing tree sprays over 25’ high to limit drift possibility.
  • Our Plant Health Care Arborists will diagnose insect and disease problems, as well as soil, moisture, and fertility issues.  We also recommend how and when a plant health issue warrants treatment.

Please 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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Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) – Avoiding Tree Damage During Construction

Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) – Avoiding Tree Damage During Construction

Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) is an area where construction activities are prohibited or restricted to prevent injury to preserved trees, especially during pre- construction and construction, and includes the Critical Root Zone and/or beyond.

How Trees Are Damaged During Construction

Physical Injury to Trunk and Crown.
Construction equipment can injure the above-ground portion of a tree by breaking branches, tearing the bark, and wounding the trunk. These injuries are permanent and, if extensive, can be fatal.
Root Cutting.
Digging, grading, and trenching associated with construction and underground utility installation can be quite damaging to roots. A tree’s root system can extend horizontally a distance 1 to 3 times greater than the height of a tree. It is important to cut as far away from a tree as possible to prevent damage that can compromise tree health and stability. Cutting under a tree’s crown can reduce tree vitality. Cutting roots close to the trunk can severely damage a tree and limit its ability to stay upright in storms.
Soil Compaction.
An ideal soil for root growth and development contains about 50 percent pore space for water and air movement. Heavy construction equipment can compact soil and dramatically reduce pore space. Compaction inhibits root growth, limits water penetration, and decreases oxygen needed for root survival.
Smothering Roots by Adding Soil.
The majority of fine water-and-mineral-absorbing roots are in the upper 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) of soil where oxygen and moisture levels tend to be best suited for growth. Even a few inches of soil piled over the root system to change the grade can smother fine roots and eventually lead to larger root death.
Exposure to the Elements.
Trees in a forest grow as a community, protecting each other from the elements. The trees grow tall with long, straight trunks and high canopies. Removing neighboring trees during construction exposes the remaining trees to increased sunlight and wind which may lead to sunscald or breakage of limbs and stems.

Planning

Your arborist and builder should work together early in the planning phase of construction. Sometimes small changes in the placement or design of your house or driveway can make a great difference in whether a critical tree will survive. Alternative construction methods can be discussed, such as bridging over the roots as a substitute for a conventional walkway, if flexibility in placement is limited. If utilities cannot be re-routed away from trees, less damaging tunneling and trenching installation techniques exist.

Erecting Barriers

Treatment for construction damage is limited, so it is vital that trees be protected from injury. Set up sturdy fencing around each tree that is to remain, as far out from the tree trunk as possible to provide above- and below-ground protection. Place fence approximately one foot (0.3 m) from the trunk for each inch (2.5 cm) of trunk diameter.
Instruct construction personnel to keep fencing intact and the fenced area clear of building materials, waste, and excess soil. No digging, trenching, or other soil disturbance should be allowed in the fenced area.

Limiting Access

If possible, allow only one access route on and off the property. All contractors must be instructed where they are permitted to drive and park their vehicles. Often this same access drive can later serve as the route for utility wires, water lines, or the driveway.
Specify storage areas for equipment, soil, and construction materials. Limit areas for burning (if permitted), cement wash-out pits, and construction work zones. These areas should be located away from protected trees.

Click here to read our article on deer damage to trees, and how to prevent it.

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Benefits of Trees

Benefits of Trees

Have you ever imagined what the world would be like without trees? The benefits of trees extend beyond their beauty. Trees planted today will offer social, environmental, and economic benefits for years to come.

Learn more about the benefits of trees.

Social Benefits

Social benefits of trees go beyond enjoying their beauty. Humans feel a calming effect from being near trees. The serenity we feel can significantly reduce stress, fatigue, and even decrease recovery time from surgery and illness.

Communal Benefits

With proper selection and maintenance, even trees can provide benefits to the community. Trees provide privacy, accentuate views, reduce noise and glare, and even enhance architecture. Natural elements and wildlife are brought to the urban environment which increases the quality of life for residents within the community. As well, fruit trees in public green spaces can have the added benefit of providing fresh fruit to the community.

Environmental Benefits

Trees alter the environment we live in by moderating climate, improving air quality, reducing stormwater runoff, and harboring wildlife.

Examples of the environmental benefits of trees:

  • Trees help moderate temperatures by creating a cooling effect which can counteract the heating effect of pavement and buildings in an urban environment.
  • Compact tree foliage can serve as a windbreak, as well as provide protection from rainfall.
  • Leaves filter the air we breathe by removing dust and other particulates and releasing oxygen.
  • Trees provide shelter for small animals, such as squirrels and birds.

Economic Benefits

The economic benefits of trees are both direct and indirect. Property values of landscaped homes are 5 to 20 percent higher than those of non-landscaped homes based on the species, size, condition, and location of the trees included in the landscape. Trees also provide shade which can lower cooling costs for your home and reduce heating costs in the winter by acting as a windbreak.

An arborist can help you determine the value of trees by providing an appraisal. Documentation on the value of trees in your landscape can assist with determining the property value, as well as, help with insurance claims in the event of a loss.

Learn more about the value of trees

Maximizing the Benefits of Trees

Trees provide numerous benefits but in order to maximize a tree’s benefits routine maintenance is required. Though these benefits begin the moment a tree is planted, they are minimal compared to the benefits of a mature tree. The costs associated with removing a large tree and planting a young tree can outweigh the costs of regular tree maintenance practices such as tree inspection, pruning, and mulching.

Learn more about mature tree care

 

International Society of Arboriculture

www.isa-arbor.com • p. +1 217.355.9411 • [email protected]

©International Society of Arboriculture 2009-2018
Email comments and questions to ISA
Thursday, January 11, 2018 11:42:30 AM (CST/ISA Headquarters Time)
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Works Cited: 
“Benefits of Trees.” Trees Are Good, International Society of Arboriculture, 11 Jan. 2018, 11:45, www.treesaregood.org/treeowner/benefitsoftrees.

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The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) – Board of Directors

The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) – Board of Directors

There are almost 200,000 people working in the tree care industry in the United States. Hi, this is Noel from All About Trees. Like most other trades, we have our own industry associations. The Tree Care Industry Association has almost 2,500 member companies, and it helps tree care companies meet current standards for safety and quality. I’m proud to announce that I’m the newest member of the board of directors for the association. I am by far the smallest company represented on the board, but I was chosen because of All About Trees reputation nationally, for our quality and company culture. It’s an honor to serve on this board and a chance for me to help other small companies, nationwide, with their dreams of growing their business and keeping their employees safe and happy.

All About Trees is a small business in Springfield Missouri, making waves on a national scale. If you need tree work, I hope you’ll give us a chance to show you how we are different. Look us up at www.allabouttrees.com.

All About Trees is caring for Springfield Urban Forest one tree at a time.

 


 

 

To view a list of our Certified Arborists, click here!

Please call the office of All About Trees at (417) 863-6214 or fill out a contact request form to schedule an appointment for an estimate.

Phone: (417) 863-6214
Address: 3427 W. Farm Road 146, Springfield, MO 65807

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7 Places to See Fall Colors in Springfield and the Ozarks

7 places to see fall colors in Springfield and the Ozarks

http://www.news-leader.com/story/entertainment/2017/09/27/7-places-see-fall-colors-springfield-and-ozarks/701450001/

JAMES RIVER

(Photo: News-Leader file photo)

Gregory J. Holman and Wes Johnson, News-Leader Published 6:00 a.m. CT Sept. 27, 2017

It’s leaf-peeping season in the Ozarks. As summer temperatures slide into fall’s chilly breezes, leaves transform from bright green to a range of fall colors: golds, reds, oranges and purples. And some brown. Why brown? Drought is a part of this year’s fall-foliage season. The National Weather Service announced Sept. 14 that much of the Ozarks and the eastern half of the state is undergoing light drought conditions. Drought is already making yellow and brown leaves appear on trees in the Show-Me State right now, a forestry specialist told the Columbia Missourian Tuesday. “The reason we are seeing some yellows now is due to the lack of rainfall these past few weeks,” Hank Stelzer, a forestry extension specialist at Mizzou’s College of Agriculture, told the paper. Typically, mid-October is peak fall color season in Missouri, though predicting exactly when those autumn hues will come to life is “difficult,” according to a Missouri Department of Conservation website. Search “fall color” at nature.mdc.mo.gov for more details, along with a weekly updated guide to how the leaves are doing in each of Missouri’s regions. The latest on southwest Missouri is that leaves are “beginning to turn.”

Despite the drought, the classic reds, oranges and purples are on their way, Missouri Department of Conservation officials said in a separate news release. To appear, those colors just need cool — not freezing — autumn nights. Cool air helps trap natural sugars inside the leaves, forming “building blocks” for the full range of fall colors. Meanwhile, cool air breaks down the leaves’ green pigments. Where to find showy, beautiful trees this year? It’s not hard, but here are 7 tips on where to experience fall in all its glory in Springfield and the Ozarks.

 

  1. Urban leaves: Maple Park Cemetery

Topping the list and so easy to see is Maple Park Cemetery in the heart of Springfield, on Grand Street between Campbell and Jefferson avenues. The cemetery is filled with maple trees, which arguably produce the most vivid colors of any tree in the Ozarks. Maple leaves always contain bright red pigments once the green chlorophyll fades away.

Fun fact: Maple Park Cemetery is accessible by a City Utilities bus. Take the red line.

Fall color at the Springfield Conservation Nature CenterBuy Photo

Fall color at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center Tuesday, October 27, 2009. (Photo: News-Leader file photo)

  1. Riverside leaves: the James River

Hiking trails and paddling trips on the James River offer great ways to get outdoors and experience the fall colors.

Walking trails at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center take wanderers down to the river’s edge. Sycamores, oaks and ash trees will soon turn from green to yellow, orange and gold.

Splash your canoe or kayak at Lake Springfield and follow the James River Water Trail five miles upstream to enjoy trees changing color along the shoreline.

In fact, MDC recommends routes along any river with views of forested bluffs and on float trips under a colorful forest canopy.

The cold, blue waters of Ha Ha Tonka Spring emerge

The cold, blue waters of Ha Ha Tonka Spring emerge from a towering rock bluff. (Photo: File photo)

  1. Laughing water leaves: Ha Ha Tonka State Park

Another beautiful fall hike among the trees, the trails at the 3,751-acre Ha Ha Tonka State Park, an hour and 20 minutes northeast of Springfield, are a great place to see the changing trees and towering karst cliffs up close.

The park and its historic stone castle ruins was voted fourth best state park in the nation by readers of USA TODAY.  Not to be missed: The deep blue Ha Ha Tonka spring that pours 58 million gallons of water a day into a forest stream from the base of a massive vertical stone wall.

A small waterfall trickles into a crystal clear poolBuy Photo

A small waterfall trickles into a crystal clear pool at Cedar Gap Conservation Area. (Photo: Wes Johnson/News-Leader)

  1. Hiking leaves: Cedar Gap Conservation Area

If you’re up for a vigorous walk, Cedar Gap Conservation Area in Wright County is just 30 minutes east of Springfield, south of U.S. 60 highway.

The moderately strenuous hiking trail takes visitors downhill through oaks, pines and dogwood trees to a gurgling clear creek that forms the headwaters of Bryant Creek. The first half is all downhill and takes hikers to a small log cabin that once was a fishing and hunting getaway for the previous landowner.

Visitors are surrounded by tall, steep hills, and one of them is the second-highest prominence in Missouri. Be ready for a workout going back uphill, and wear sturdy boots.

An abundance of tree species will be changing color

 

  1. Kid-friendly leaves: Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park

For a much less grueling (and more kid-friendly) fall outing, take a stroll at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park on Springfield’s west side. The walkways are paved! The tops of the park’s trees will soon begin changing color, especially around Lake Drummond.

The geese will want a snack, but visitors are encouraged not to feed them. And for a huge variety of color, walk a short distance to the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center and the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, which features hundreds of species of trees and plants. All areas are free.

Henning Conservation Area offers more than five milesBuy Photo

Henning Conservation Area offers more than five miles of scenic hiking trails on the northwest edge of Branson. (Photo: Wes Johnson/News-Leader)

  1. Taney County leaves: Branson tours

The Branson/Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau suggests four fall color routes you can drive. They’ll take one hour up to four hours, and leaf-peepers can see Table Rock Lake, Kimberling City, downtown Branson, Forsyth, Rockaway Beach, Bull Shoals Lake, Peel Ferry and Mark Twain National Forest, depending on the route you choose. Oh, and there’s a tour for walkers and joggers through Branson Landing and downtown. Find all the details, including handy maps, at explorebranson.com/fall/driving-tours.

Meanwhile, don’t forget the Henning Conservation Area, located on Highway 76 near Shepherd of the Hills Expressway. It contains five miles of scenic trails.

Leaves of a sweet gum tree glow red and orange Friday,

Leaves of a sweet gum tree glow red and orange Friday, Nov. 4, 2005, at Pinnacle State Park near Little Rock, Ark. (Photo: DANNY JOHNSTON, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

  1. Arkansas leaves: Tour the Natural State

If you really want to road-trip it, head south of the state line. Arkansas Parks and Tourism has a guide to scenic drives throughout the state and beyond. Explore the Boston Mountains Scenic Loop — from Fayetteville to Alma, it’s studded with state parks, historic sites and trails. Or consider the Scenic 7 Byway, from Harrison to Jessieville. Visit arkansas.com and search “fall foliage.” Like MDC, Arkansas Parks & Tourism offers a leaf guide that’s updated weekly.


 

How our weather pattern in mid-Missouri could affect fall foliage

http://www.abc17news.com/weather/how-our-weather-pattern-in-mid-missouri-could-affect-the-fall-foliage/627654605

Brigit Mahoney KQFX (MO), Sep 28, 2017 04:41 PM CDT

Heading into fall, many look forward to the changing weather pattern, as well as the changing landscape. Beautiful, vibrant colors are an annual event as the leaves begin to change. However, many factors determine the look of fall foliage. Weather is one factor. In mid-Missouri, fall foliage typically is at its peak towards late October. The weather pattern we see leading up to this point can have a huge impact on how vibrant the colors are. Also, the weather pattern we see during the early fall season can impact foliage as well.

After spring, once the leaves are fully developed, trees start to store nutrients that helps the green leaves transition into fall colors. This is why sufficient rainfall during the summer months is crucial for optimal fall foliage.

This summer in mid-Missouri, we saw below average rainfall. For the months of June, July, and August, average rainfall in Columbia accumulates to 13.23″. Summer 2017 only brought in 11.21″, which is a little over 2″ below average. This isn’t a drastic drop in precipitation, but could be accounted for when considering fall foliage.

As we look closer to fall, the month of September has been dry as well. Average rainfall in Columbia for September sits at 3.92″, but this month has only brought in 1.92″ of rain. That’s a deficit of 1.57″. When considering all four months leading up to October, we fall nearly 4″ short of average. This could impact the typical orange, red, and purple colors we see during peak fall foliage, instead giving us duller brown and orange tones.

During the early fall, the weather continues to impact the foliage. Cool nights and sunny days help bring out the pigments in the leaves. For the next few days, mid-Missouri will have cool nights as lows drop into the 40s and 50s with sunny days. However, this pattern won’t last long.

The Climate Prediction Center’s Temperature Outlook indicates a warm up that’s in store for all of mid-Mo. It also predicts above average tempurates from October 3-9. By Monday, temperatures will be back into the mid 80s during the day, with lows only bottoming out in the 60s. This could have a negative impact on our fall foliage.

One last thing to note during the early fall season is rainfall. Surprisingly, it is better to have dry conditions as we head into the month October. This ensures that the leaves won’t fall prematurely before the colors develop. There is some good news here! The Climate Prediction Center’s Precipitation Outlook keeps most of mid-Missouri in below average rainfall from October 3-9. This could help those beautiful fall colors we all wish to see!

During peak foliage, it’s important that we see light winds and no frost to ensure a longer period with the beautiful, vibrant landscape!

Keep an eye out for the changing landscape here in mid-Missouri as we head towards late October. Send any photos to the ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team.

 

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