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Treating Oak Wilt

Oak trees are a valuable addition to any landscape in Austin. However, in the recent past, many of these majestic trees have succumbed to a disease known as oak wilt. This disease is responsible for the destruction of oaks by the thousands. Although there is no known cure for the disease, there are methods for treating it, which may prolong the life of the tree. Let’s examine some of the methods for oak wilt treatment.

One of the primary ways in which oak wilt is spread is through the root system. An infected tree can easily pass the disease along to a healthy tree through an interconnected root system. This may be prevented if a buffer is put into place. A buffer severs the interconnected root system, thereby protecting a healthy oak from an infected one. Recommendations for creating a barrier include establishing a trench at least 100 feet from the nearest oak wilt-infected tree. Using the appropriate machinery, the trench should be dug at least four feet deep and then backfilled.

Another primary way in which oak wilt is spread is through sap-feeding beetles. Because these insects are more active during specific times of the year in specific locations, pruning or mowing injuries, such as cuts or wounds, may make the perfect feeding place for the beetles and, consequently, the perfect place for infestation of the fungus that causes oak wilt. Consult an Austin tree trimming specialist with questions concerning the appropriate times to prune an oak.

Since oak wilt is caused by a fungus, treatment typically includes the use of a fungicide. The fungicide is applied to the trunk using one of two methods: macro-injection or micro-injection. The essential differences between these two methods are the amount of water used in conjunction with the fungicide and the size of the holes drilled into the tree for treatment. Macro-injection requires more water and more wounding to the oak, and micro-injection requires less water and less wounding to the oak. However, both treatments typically use the same amount of fungicide. An Austin tree care professional can address any questions you may have about which method of treatment is better for your oaks.

You may prevent oak wilt by immediately covering any cuts or wounds. This can be accomplished using a wound paint and is especially important during those times of the year when insect activity is increased. By applying wound paint, a barrier both covers the injury, as well as establishes a protective layer between the wound and the fungal spores beetles may carry. This protective barrier may prevent transmission of the disease through the open wound.

Finally, another protective measure that may be taken to prevent the spread of oak wilt is to carefully examine firewood. If the origin of the firewood or its condition is in question, research suggests that it is best to cover the wood with clear plastic and secure it by digging it into the ground, thereby preventing the spread of insects if there is an infestation. To provide better protection for localized healthy oaks, use the firewood the year it is harvested. The fire will destroy any remaining spores or insects. Additionally, for oaks that die during spring or the early part of summer, dieoff should be complete, and the firewood, therefore, able to be used, by fall.

Although oak wilt has become increasingly prevalent in Austin, there are actions which can be taken to treat it or perhaps prevent it altogether. Seek the expertise of an Austin tree service to assist you in effective prevention and treatment.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

Oak Wilt

Oak trees are one of the more popular and commonly planted landscaping trees. This great species is also a staple of the natural American landscape. However, oaks can easily succumb to a disease known as oak wilt. In recent years, this disease has destroyed a significant number of oaks in the Austin, Texas area. In order to prevent Austin oak wilt, it is important to understand the disease–its origin and how to treat it.

Although it is not the number one disease that kills oaks, oak wilt it is considered the most commonly known. It is caused by a fungus known as Ceratocystis fagacearum. The disease manifests itself through fungal spores that invade an oak and clog its water conducting system.

The disease is spread through two primary agents:

One is through beetles which feed on the sap of oaks. Beetles frequently carry oak wilt spores to non-infected oaks and introduce the pathogen through a fresh wound. The wounds may be caused by a number of factors, including wind damage or inappropriate trimming. However they may exist, wounds must be appropriately treated in order to decrease the chances that an oak will succumb to the effects of oak wilt.

Introduction of these spores by insects may also lead to the second agent frequently responsible for spreading the oak wilt. Once an oak is affected by fungal spores, the possibility for a continued, rapid spread of the disease to other oaks exists through an interconnected root system. Severing the root system of affected trees from other localized, unaffected trees is the only means by which to prevent the continued spread. Consult an Austin tree trimming professional to assist you with this, as he/she will possess the equipment necessary for such an undertaking.

There is no known cure for oak wilt, so prevention is key. For instance, there are specific times of year when pruning an oak is more ideal. Pruning during the extremely hot, dry summer months is beneficial, as there is a decreased spore production during this time period. Conversely, pruning during the extremely cold winter months is equally beneficial due to a reduced amount of insect activity. Additionally, should an oak have one, immediate treatment of a fresh wound may prevent spore contamination and preserve the life of the tree. This can be accomplished using pruning paint. Taking several, very achievable steps can lessen the chances that an oak becomes affected by the disease.

Oaks are a valuable landscaping commodity in Austin. Their value can be maintained through knowledge of oak wilt and some forethought of preventative care. However, if you still have questions concerning oak wilt, its appearance, effects, or treatment, contact an Austin tree care professional to assist you.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree services in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and stump removal. For more information on Austin tree service please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

Austin tree service to assist you with your hardiness questions and concerns.'>

Tree Hardiness

When planning one’s landscape, many tend to first consider the various tree species from which to select. For most, personal preferences for aesthetic landscaping tree additions is at the forefront of their minds. A savvy researcher may also take other factors into consideration, including the size of the tree at maturity, the area required for unhindered growth of the root system, and how other objects near or within the landscape might affect safety. Another factor to consider before becoming absolutely set on a specific tree is whether or not that species can grow in a specific region. This is the premise behind a tree’s hardiness.

To understand whether or not a tree (or plant) will grow in a specific region, one must first understand how hardiness is determined. The United States and Canada are categorized into 11 areas whose average annual minimum temperatures are divided into 10 degree Fahrenheit increments. Consequently, the areas spanning two through 10 cover the United States and work their way in numeric order from north to south.

In order to select landscaping trees that will flourish, it is important to understand a tree’s hardiness and the zone in which one resides. For example, it is highly unlikely that a citrus tree would be able to flourish in hardiness zone four, where the average minimum temperature can drop as low as -25 degrees Fahrenheit. However, any number of variables can also affect a tree’s chances of survival. These variables include land formations capable of changing air flow patterns, protective barriers from harsh winter winds and temperatures, and mulching. Consult an Austin tree trimming specialist for pertinent information related to the hardiness zone specific to your area, as well as the species that will likely survive the elements there.

It’s also important to recognize that hardiness is innate to each tree, although levels of hardiness may vary greatly among the different species. This is particularly evident during trees’dormant period. Dormancy allows the tree a period of rest while still ensuring its viability during the often concurrent cold, winter months. Dormancy is especially important for the hardiness of flowering trees. Assuming that a flowering tree is planted in a hardiness zone capable of optimally supporting its growth, the dormant period generally allows for beautiful springtime blooms. If a flowering tree is planted in a hardiness zone incapable of optimally supporting its growth, then the period of dormancy (or rest) may not be fully apportioned and may result in the tree’s inability to bloom during spring.

To determine the most viable species of trees for your region, as well as to determine which hardiness zone is applicable to your region, consult an Austin tree care professional. He or she can be a most valuable resource as you plan your perfect landscape.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree services in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and stump removal. For more information on Austin tree service please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

Understanding Tree Dormancy

Trees are a valuable asset to a landscape. Vigilance with regard to upkeep and maintenance ensure that they remain an asset. In order to sustain them, however, it is important to understand them. There are several stages of tree physiology, but perhaps one of the most relevant to understand is dormancy.

Dormancy is the process whereby a tree enters into an inactive state. This inactive state causes growth and development to slow or cease altogether. This is a natural survival mechanism, which allows a tree to survive adverse environmental conditions. In particular, these environmental conditions include the extreme temperature changes typically noted with the changing of autumn to the often frigid temperatures of winter. Although largely contingent upon geographic location, some purport that because of the often extreme change in temperatures from spring to summer, a dormant stage occurs during this time period, too, allowing trees to also survive extreme heat and any resulting drought conditions.

There are several factors that prompt dormancy, including plummeting temperatures, shortened days, and water supply.

Plummeting temperatures and shortened days routinely align with autumn (when trees begin to drop their leaves) and perhaps explain the general mindset that relates dormancy to the accompaniment of the onset of cold weather.

Likewise, a tree is innately prompted toward a dormant state when there is a decreased water supply. Since precipitation during the winter is frequently manifested in frozen form and water availability is, therefore, substantially decreased, a tree’s dormant state is a means by which survival is possible: If the availability of valuable water, necessary for viability, is limited, dormancy allows the tree to decrease its requirement for water. With this same concept in mind, certainly the insinuation of a dormant state during the summer months appears sensible. Extreme conditions are possible during the summer, too, and the innate will to survive remains, even if it is less frequently noted during a specific time. An Austin tree trimming specialist can address any questions regarding the widely accepted or disproved concept of dormancy during the summer months.

Other interesting facts about dormancy include the amount of time a tree remains dormant, which appears to be based on the species of tree and the geographic location. Some species require a longer period of dormancy than others. Consult an Austin tree removal professional with questions about trees specific to Austin and the amount of time each remains dormant. Additionally, if temperatures are unseasonably warmer than usual heading into autumn, then the onset of dormancy may be delayed. Conversely, preventative measures may be taken to help prolong dormancy. For example, covering a tree’s root system with mulch as a means to help winterize it may also extend the dormant stage.

Beneath the aesthetics of a landscaping tree lies a fascinating and relatively complex physiology. Understanding the overall functioning of a tree is a great first step to understanding how best to help it survive and thrive.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree services in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and stump removal. For more information on Austin tree service please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.

Effective Noise Reduction Using Landscaping Trees

The perfect landscaping trees can add value and beauty to your property. They may be used as an environmentally-friendly method to establish boundaries surrounding your property by taking the place of a wooden privacy fence, and the overall environmental benefits that come from planting trees are well-documented. But there is another benefit of landscaping trees to consider. After all the investment and effort put into designing the perfect, relaxing landscape, shouldn’t you be able to enjoy it in relative peace? The very same trees you select to design your sanctuary may also be used to effectively reduce noise pollution by creating a buffer.

It is important to place the buffer as close to the source of the noise as possible. Depending upon the size of the property, tree buffers, and some additional landscaping considerations, can greatly diminish noise. For instance, traffic noise from roads which allow moderate speeds of under 40 miles per hour (mph) can be reduced when a 20 to 50 foot wide buffer is placed within 20 to 50 feet of the center of the traffic lane nearest the property. Traffic noise from roads which allow high speeds of greater than or equal to 40 miles per hour (mph) can be reduced when a 65 to 100 foot wide buffer is placed within 50 to 80 feet of the center of the traffic lane nearest the property.

By using these dimensions as a guideline, appropriate placement, or setback, for effective results is possible while still taking into consideration those factors for which you may have no control. For instance, safety of drivers is important. By placing the buffer within these dimensions, there remains a margin for error. Should a driver’s vehicle veer from the road, the trees included as a part of the buffer are not so close to the road that immediate impact is a problem. Additionally, the trees you choose to include in the buffer should include species able to tolerate weather conditions and actions taken as a result of them. For instance, should snow or ice impact the area, the trees need to be able to tolerate any clearing or de-icing actions the local municipality may take to make the roads safe and improve driving conditions. The effectiveness of the buffer is further amplified if additional setback exists between the house and the edge of the buffer facing the house.

Other considerations to make when establishing a buffer include using evergreens. Because they retain their greenery year-round, there is never a time throughout the year when their effectiveness is lessened. Consider placing them closest to the source of the noise. A buffer should also be created as densely as possible to increase both effective noise reduction and longevity. Although the purpose is to have a dense area of vegetation to drown out unwanted noise, there still may be times that it requires pruning, especially on the side of the buffer nearer the home. An Austin tree trimming specialist can assist you with this task, keeping your buffer both sightly and effective. Finally, natural features of the landscape may assist with the buffer. Don’t underestimate the value of a natural roll in the land, such as a gradient or even a small hillside.

If, at any point, sources of noise are diminished or even removed (for example, a road formerly near the property is permanently closed or relocated) and you wish to thin the barrier you’ve created, consult an Austin tree removal specialist, who can assist with the appropriate methods and equipment necessary for removing trees and other vegetation.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree services in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and stump removal. For more information on Austin tree service please visit https://www.centraltexastreecare.com.